John Ryder Upsets Zach Parker Due To Hand Injury
John Ryder won the vacant WBO interim super middleweight title by fifth-round knockout when British countryman Zach Parker retired due to an apparent broken right hand on Saturday in the main event of a Queensberry Promotions card at The O2 in London.
An unfortunate end to the biggest night of his career, but @zachparkerboxer will be back 👏
— Frank Warren (@FrankWarren) November 26, 2022
The fight was close through the four completed rounds with Parker leading 39-37 on two scorecards and one judge having it 38-38 when it suddenly ended one second into the fifth round as referee Howard Foster waved it off with Ryder failing to come out of the corner.
Parker Could Not Continue
Parker said he injured his hand early in the fourth round when he threw an uppercut that hit Ryder’s glove.
“It was warming up into a good fight. I’m obviously gutted,” Parker said. “It was a fucking uppercut at the start of the (fourth) round. You could see how bad it’s hurt now. I’m gutted but I hope he goes on to good things. I’ll obviously come back stronger.”
Ryder, of course, was thrilled to win just not the way it came about.
“I thought the tide was starting to turn and I was getting more on top,” Ryder said. “These things happen in boxing. It was a bad injury for him, but it feels like a robbery of a victory for me. It’s just one of those things.”
The victory puts Ryder (32-5, 18 KOs), a 34-year-old southpaw, in position for a possible fight with Canelo Alvarez (58-2-2, 39 KOs), 32, of Mexico, the undisputed 168-pound champion and boxing’s biggest star.
The interim belt was made available because Alvarez fought at light heavyweight in a May decision loss to Dmitry Bivol followed by a decision win over rival Gennadiy Golovkin back at super middleweight in their long-awaited third fight in September.
Now Ryder is Alvarez’s WBO mandatory challenger after winning his fourth fight in a row since a decision loss to then-WBA titlist Callum Smith in November 2019 — although Ryder’s split decision over former middleweight titlist Daniel Jacobs in London in February was hotly disputed.
“I’m standing pretty now,” Ryder said. “I want the big fights, the Canelo fight. It would be a dream to fight Canelo on Cinco de Mayo — whenever or wherever. It’s a great win for me. This is where I want to be. Whether to fight Canelo for any of the four belts, so be it.”
How Ryder Comes Into Play For Canelo
Ryder is promoted by Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn, who has promoted five of Alvarez’s last six fights and enjoy a strong relationship with him and his team, meaning putting together Alvarez-Ryder would likely be easy if it’s a fight Alvarez is interested in.
As for Parker (22-1, 16 KOs), 28, the defeat and injury marked the end of a bitterly disappointing 2022. He had not fought since last November because Demetrius Andrade bailed on him twice.
They were supposed to meet for the interim title on May 21 in England after Parker promoter Frank Warren won a purse bid, but WBO middleweight titlist Andrade, who was moving up in weight, pulled out due to a shoulder injury and the fight was canceled.
In September, Warren won another purse bid and rescheduled the fight only to have Andrade, who has since vacated his title, pull out because he was not happy with what would have been his cut of the purse bid — $183,000.
Ryder was the next available WBO contender and the fight was made.