John Ryder moved a step closer to another title shot on Saturday.
The Londoner defeated previously unbeaten Zach Parker when Parker quit after four rounds of a scheduled 12-round super middleweight bout because of an injured right hand at The O2 in Ryder’s hometown.
The WBO “interim” title was at stake, which means Ryder is now next in line to face champion Canelo Alvarez.
Who would have called this?!
Zack Parker has had to pull out after the 4th round due to an injury to his hand.@_John_Ryder_ has been awarded the victory.#ParkerRyder pic.twitter.com/7IZJ89jaA0
— Boxing on BT Sport (@BTSportBoxing) November 26, 2022
Ryder (32-5, 18 KOs) came up short in his first title fight, when he was outpointed by then-champ Callum Smith in 2019. However, he bounced back to win four consecutive fights, including a split decision over Daniel Jacobs in his most recent outing.
The fight on Saturday was close, as Ryder pushed the action while the more athletic Parker (22-1, 16 KOs) used his stick-and-move style to hold his own.
Neither man was able to gain an advantage in the relatively uneventful fight when Park emerged from this corner after Round 4 to indicate that his hand was injured and he couldn’t continue.
Ryder seemed stunned that the fight ended the way it did but soon began celebrating.
Why not? He’ll be a candidate to face arguably the biggest star in the sport in a fight that could change his career, a la Dmitry Bivol.
Alvarez, recovering from his own wrist injury, wants to face Bivol in a rematch in September. That leaves an opening for an opponent in May, when the Mexican typically fights.
Ryder undoubtedly will be among those Alvarz considers.