John Ryder (35-2, 18 KOs) dominated the big-punching Zach Parker (22-1, 16 KOs), beating him by a fifth-round stoppage on Saturday to claim the vacant interim WBO super middleweight title at the O2 Arena in London, England. Parker had a hand injury and couldn’t continue. The time of the stoppage was at 0:01 in the fifth.
(Photo credit: Queensbury Promotions)
It’s unclear whether Parker came into the fight with the injury because he was moving a lot more than he normally does, and it was peculiar because it was thought that he would take the fight to Ryder to try and overpower him.
Instead of Parker doing the pressuring, it was ‘The Gorilla’ Ryder coming forward, looking to pressure the younger fighter.
After the contest, Ryder’s promoter Eddie Hearn revealed that he’d contacted trainer/manager Eddy Reynoso to begin the early stages of setting up a fight with undisputed 168-lb champion Canelo Alvarez next May, possibly in London.
“It was a strange one. I felt the tide was turning, and I was getting a bit in front of the fight and taking over,” said John Ryder to Secondsout, reflecting on his win over Zach Parker.
“I’m glad I got the win, first and foremost. I felt like in the first three, he was just jabbing & moving a lot, trying to offset me,” Ryder said about Parker. “I’m a bit too experienced for that.
“In the fourth, I started holding my feet a little bit more, trying to back him up a bit. I think that’s when the tide started changing. I saw his hand after. It had a lump on it. I don’t know if I broke it.
“It seemed like it was injured. Hopefully, he can get that fixed and move forward with his career.
“I wanted to have faith in the judges that they’d score it correctly, but he was just moving in the first four rounds, not winning the fight. Alcatraz would be nice, but I wouldn’t want to back up to the island.
“It would be a privilege to be in the opposite corner,” said Ryder when asked about his thoughts on him potentially facing Canelo Alvarez next May. “He’s a great fighter. It would be a clash of styles. We’d be there in front of each other, mirroring each other, giving each other the feints and the shoulders, giving the angles,” said Ryder.
“I’ve always put the text into [Canelo’s manager/trainer Eddy] Reynoso,” said Eddie Hearn. “You want it at the Emirates?”
“Emirates or whatever. I’d go to Acapulco,” said Ryder about where he’d be willing to travel to fight Canelo.
“Could it be Tottenham Stadium, or would that cause you a few problems?” said Hearn.
“What about the Orion?” said Ryder.
“Orion is not big enough, mate,” said Hearn. “It’s John Ryder vs. Canelo in London.”
“Eddie is saying it’s going to happen, so fingers crossed,” said Ryder about the Canelo fight. “It’s nice to see the people that are genuinely behind you.”