In ‘a historic moment for me,’ Alvarez retains belt in Mexico

Canelo Alvarez successfully defended his super middleweight championship at Akron Stadium on Saturday, defeating England’s John Ryder by unanimous decision. This momentous victory took place in Guadalajara, Mexico, where over 51,000 devoted fans eagerly awaited their hero’s long-awaited return after a wait of almost 12 years.

Ryder, who said he suffered a broken nose in the final round, showed immense courage in the fight, bleeding profusely. Despite firing right-hand shots and putting the challenger away, Alvarez settled for a win via scores of 109-118, 109-118, and 107-120. However, in the 5th round, he couldn’t put Ryder down but instead floored him, leaving him bloodied and battered, a testament to Alvarez’s boxing prowess.

“I am extremely grateful for my team and deeply appreciative of being in this place. I am delighted to be here alongside my supporters who have been with me since the start,” expressed Alvarez, ESPN’s fifth-ranked boxer in terms of pound-for-pound ranking. “This is a moment of great significance for me.”

In this long time, I am a very strong fighter. They turn on it. I knew that, but the opponents are more difficult than usual. Because I know they’re coming for everything, I respect my opponents…

In October, Alvarez had an operation on his left wrist. It marked his initial bout following the procedure. Following the fight, he confessed that he “required a few rounds to initiate throwing punches and being confident in the strength of my hand.”

If he has a say in it, the upcoming battle will be against a well-known adversary. Alvarez (59-2-2, 39 KOs) expressed satisfaction with the condition of his hand after surgery, stating that it feels “excellent,” and he is now “prepared for any situation.”

Statistics on Punches

PunchesAlvarezRyderTotal connected17980Total thrown459457Percentage39%18%Jabs connected6211Jabs thrown206200Percentage30%6%Power connected11769Power thrown253257Percentage46%27%- Courtesy of CompuBox.

In the lead-up to his rematch with Dmitry Bivol, Alvarez insists that he can exact revenge and gives confidence that he will take the title for £175 at the place where they last encountered each other in May. Bivol, who was routed by Alvarez via a decision, remained his goal throughout the lead-up.

Alvarez, who intends to compete once more on September 16, the weekend of Mexican Independence Day, expressed, “I desire identical conditions, equivalent aspects as the previous bout.” “I control the match, if you witness the initial five or six rounds,” I believe I surpass him – that’s the bottom line. Because I don’t exert myself fully during training, naturally, I become fatigued.

In the changing room, it was painful to even put on the gloves, and Alvarez mentioned that he persevered through the discomfort in his three prior fights – most recently a unanimous decision win against Gennadiy Golovkin in September to conclude their trilogy.

Bivol insists that the rematch must occur at 168 pounds for Alvarez’s four titles, making it accessible for all competitive boxers to consider and typically anticipate.

Bivol inquired of ESPN on Thursday, “What is the reason for me to engage in the rematch at 175? What is the difficulty or what is the incentive for me if I’ve already triumphed over him in that weight division? … He mentioned that that’s his preferred weight category, so he may have an improved probability at 168.”

In the upcoming week, Eddie Hearn mentioned that he will initiate discussions for the rematch, as he represents both Alvarez and Bivol. However, Alvarez is adamant about not entertaining any justifications regarding his opponent being weakened due to weight loss.

Eddie Hearn, who is also a promoter, entered the ring with Ryder, who was ranked as the fourth-best super middleweight by ESPN. Ryder, with a record of 32-6 and 18 knockouts, secured the chance to face boxing’s highest-earning athlete after having a remarkable year in his career (ranked fifth on Forbes’ list, earning $110 million in 2022).

In November, when Parker sustained a fractured hand, “The Gorilla” achieved the most significant triumph of his professional career in February 2022, outscoring former titleholder Daniel Jacobs, and subsequently securing a triumph against Zach Parker.

He displayed tremendous heart round after round, connecting with a good few counter shots, particularly an uppercut. Ryder, a 34-year-old, was able to absorb more and more punches coming on, but Canelo Alvarez landed 189 punches – double the amount Ryder landed in the match against him.

Ryder’s best moments of the fight came in Round 8, after he was gutted out with a knockdown from a sharp right hand – again, he was on the canvas, closing seconds.

“… I toiled and I’m elated that the individuals witnessed an exceptional bout,” Alvarez expressed. “I believe I had the upper hand, however, you know, he positioned his head forward and utilized his elbows.”

However, the left-handed boxer successfully delivered some sharp punches of his own. Nevertheless, he managed to avoid falling to the ground. Ryder miraculously retaliated – and then a successive series of punches left him unsteady on his feet once more, until a third strike caused him to tumble into the ropes. Canelo landed two powerful right hooks that severely impacted Ryder before nearly concluding the bout in Round 9.

Following the execution of a powerful right hand, he clapped his gloves together twice during the concluding round – it was evident that Alvarez was disappointed that the knockout did not occur. However, the match was heavily skewed towards one side, despite being undeniably entertaining.

Ryder stated at the postfight press conference that Alvarez’s peak days are behind him, while sporting a bandage encircling his crimson nose.

“He was unable to extract me from that place,” Ryder expressed. “His intention was to obstruct me. He was unsuccessful in doing so.”

Accompanied by a mariachi band consisting of more than 50 members and a dazzling fireworks display, he made his entrance into the ring donning a poncho adorned with green and gold. Whether or not he is considered past his prime at 32 will only become evident in the future. However, Alvarez did secure a convincing victory and continues to be the prominent figure in the world of boxing.

After nearly 12 years, he returned home as the legendary Mexican boxer he had become. And on top of his head, there was a crown, as he was still the king of the boxing world.