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Canelo Alvarez defeats gutsy John Ryder to defend super-middleweight titles

Canelo Alvarez defeats gutsy John Ryder to defend world titles
© Reuters
Canelo Alvarez successfully defends his world super-middleweight world titles with a unanimous points decision over John Ryder.

Canelo Alvarez has successfully defended his world super-middleweight world titles with a unanimous points decision against John Ryder.

In a night which was billed as his homecoming in Guadalajara, Alvarez appeared on course for a routine victory when dropping mandatory challenger Ryder in the fifth round.

However, the British fighter's stock would rise in defeat, the Londoner valiantly going toe to toe with Canelo for the remainder of the bout even if the result felt inevitable.

The judges scorecards read 120-107, 118-109 and 118-109 - none of them doing Ryder's performance justice - yet there could be no arguments as Canelo retained his IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO belts.

Canelo looked sharp in the opening rounds against an opponent who was far more calculated with his shots at this stage, but Ryder's performance was hindered by a bloody nose from the third round onwards.

When the Mexican dropped the visiting fighter with a ruthless one-two in the fifth, the end appeared nigh for Ryder as he rose at the count of eight, yet it was facing that adversity that brought the best out of them.

While it was debatable how many rounds Ryder was actually accumulating, he frequently landed with solid shots, making the fight more competitive than the 50,000-strong crowd would have expected.

In the Championship rounds, the pair regularly traded, Ryder earning further respect with every three minutes that passed by, but there was always that risk that Canelo would find the stoppage that his adoring fans craved.

Neither man barely relented as the final bell approached, Canelo wanting his 40th knockout and Ryder equally wanting a world-shocking stoppage of his own and showing a determination to go out on his shield.

Although Ryder deserved to reach the conclusion of the 12th round, the end result was not up for debate, even if Ryder deserved more respect from the judges.

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John Ryder in action against Daniel Jacobs on February 12, 2022.
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