Canelo Alvarez saw off the brave challenge of John Ryder with a comprehensive unanimous decision win to retain his undisputed super middleweight crown in Mexico on Saturday and then called for a rematch with WBA light heavyweight world champion, Dmitry Bivol.
Canelo dropped Ryder heavily in the fifth round and seemed on the verge of a stoppage, but the Brit rallied to take the fight to the scorecards, where Alvarez ran out a comfortable winner at the Akron Stadium in Jalisco, in his second defence since becoming the fully unified WBA ‘super’, WBO, IBF and WBC champion.
Canelo appeared jubilant throughout his ring walk which was greeted with huge elation from a reported 55,000 capacity crowd which welcomed home their hometown star for the first time since 2011.
Alvarez, who had been sidelined since beating Gennady Golovkin in their September trilogy with a hand injury, looked spiteful from the opening round and seemed intent on securing a statement victory.
The 32-year-old’s body attacks were particularly potent in the first two rounds, with Ryder forced on the retreat amid the onslaught.
The visitor was landing some sneaky shots of his own and was parrying some of Canelo’s fierce right hands, but the Brit’s face was streaming with blood by the third round, with some suggestions that he had broken his nose.
Despite the cut, the 34-year-old wasn’t deterred and pressed the action until Alvarez made a telling breakthrough in the fifth round.
A one-two combination rocked Ryder and stumbled him into the ropes and onto the canvas, with the Islington man just about managing to get up before referee Michael Griffin reached the count of 10.
Few had given Ryder, an 11-1 underdog with the bookmakers heading into the bout, much chance of pulling off a shock upset, however he had his best round to date in the sixth catching the home favourite with some jolting uppercuts and hooks.
Ryder seemed determined to make the most of his second world title attempt and ‘The Gorilla’ was displaying some admirable heart and bravery, despite coming off second best in the rounds that ensued, with Alvarez’s workrate and crisper shots proving pivotal.
Both men opened up in the most action-packed moment of the fight towards the end of the tenth and Ryder needed to go for broke by the time the final round begun, a position which seemed improbable after the disastrous fifth.
The grandstand finish eluded Ryder in the final round, but he got the best of a round which he appeared to once again frustrate Alvarez, who was unable to secure the highlight-reel finish he desired in front of his home contingent.
Alvarez’s dominance was reflected on the judges’ scorecards, with two verdicts of 118-109 and another at 120-107, confirming his second victory since defeat to Bivol last May, a rematch he called for immediately after the fight.
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“Everybody knows. We want Bivol,” Alvarez told DAZN post-fight.
“We want the rematch with Bivol.
“Same rules. Same terms. Same everything.”
Martinez blasts out Batista
Julio Cesar Martinez retained his WBC flyweight world title with an 11th round stoppage win over Ronal Batista.
Martinez (20-2, 15 KOs) took a while to warm up with Batista (15-3, 9 KOs) having the best of the first half of the contest, however a controversial knockdown seemed to swing the momentum.
Martinez appeared to drop his foe with a clean hook, but referee Celestino Ruiz did not award him the knockdown.
Julio Cesar Martinez STOPS Ronal Rolando Batista with a big flurry of punches. 👊💥#CaneloRyder is LIVE on DAZN PPV in the US and Canada and available as part of your regular subscription in selected territories. pic.twitter.com/xa5x1mD0Ls
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) May 7, 2023
At the start of the eighth round, following a video replay, the referee overturned his call and granted the Mexican champion the knockdown he rightfully deserved.
The 28-year-old stepped on the gas in the following rounds and after pinning the Panama native onto the ropes in the 11th round, ‘El Rey’ unloaded a volley of unanswered blows, before the referee intervened.
Martinez, who made a fifth defence of his belt, will be keeping a close eye on IBF champion, Sunny Edwards who defends his title on June 10 against Andres Campos, with a long-awaited unification showdown looming if Edwards prevails.
Valenzuela edges past Spark
Gabriel Gollaz Valenzuela dropped Stevie Spark on route to a narrow victory over Steve Spark after a pulsating 10 rounds in their super lightweight clash.
Valenzuela (27-3-1, 16 KOs) and Spark (16-3, 14 KOs) traded throughout the contest and the Mexican scored the crucial breakthrough in the sixth round, dropping his Australian rival with a barrage of punches.
Gabriel Gollaz Valenzuela scores a BIG knockdown against Steve Spark. 👊#CaneloRyder is LIVE on DAZN PPV in the US and Canada and available as part of your regular subscription in selected territories. | @autozone pic.twitter.com/QORhz94WNZ
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) May 7, 2023
‘The Viking’ recovered well and pushed the home favourite all the way until the final bell, but fell short on the scorecards with verdicts of 96-93 and 95-94 enough to hand Valenzuela the victory, cancelling out a 95-95 score in Spark’s favour.
The 28-year-old secured his second straight win since defeat to Montana Love.
Gvozdyk halts Bolotniks
Former light heavyweight world champion, Oleksandr Gvozdyk inched closer to a another world title shot after stopping Ricards Bolotniks in six rounds.
A brutal volley of blows from Gvozdyk (19-1, 15 KOs) forced a bloodied Bolotniks (19-7-1, 8 KOs) to take a knee and referee Celestino Ruiz waved the contest off.
Oleksandr Gvozdyk gets the KO win over Ricards Bolotniks… what a start. 💥#CaneloRyder is LIVE on DAZN PPV in the US and Canada and available as part of your regular subscription in selected territories. pic.twitter.com/wLMxMR7aDn
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) May 6, 2023
A fight between Gvozdyk and Joshua Buatsi, who overcame Pawel Stepien earlier on Saturday could be a realistic option for both men.
18-year-old featherweight prospect, Nathan Devon Rodriguez extended his undefeated streak with a majority decision win over Alexander Meija (19-6, 8 KOs).
Scores of 96-93 and 96-94 were enough to hand Rodriguez (11-0, 7 KOs) the victory after another judge had ruled the fight a 95-95 draw.
At super middleweight, Lawrence King (12-1, 10 KOs) stopped Elio German Rafael (19-5, 12 KOs) in two rounds, while Johansen Alvarez Suarez, cousin of Canelo, scored a unanimous decision win over Johan Rodriguez Arreguin (4-1) in their super featherweight battle.
Three scores of 59-55 gave Alvarez (7-0-1, 5 KOs) the victory.
Jesus Larios (1-0) was successful on his professional debut claiming a points win over Damian Efrain De La Torre Nurez (0-2) in their light flyweight encounter.