John Ryder got the win and the interim WBO super middleweight title today, with Zach Parker stopped after four rounds of action due to a reported broken hand.
The win means that Ryder (32-5, 18 KO) may now be in line to face Canelo Alvarez, should Canelo stick to his current plan of fighting once in May on Cinco De Mayo weekend — it would be May 6, to be exact — and then chasing a Dmitry Bivol rematch next September.
Ryder, 34, makes sense because he would seem to be about the level of opponent — credible but not seen as a threat — that Canelo would want as a “tune-up” coming back from wrist surgery, which followed Alvarez’s September win over Gennadiy Golovkin.
Ryder’s interim WBO status also makes him a natural choice, as does the fact that he’s promoted by Matchroom, with whom Canelo likes working.
It’s no guarantee, obviously, but it puts Ryder firmly in the realistic conversation to face Canelo on that date. David Benavidez and Caleb Plant will be fighting one another, which is signed but doesn’t have an official date just yet, and past that, the super middleweight ranks are pretty thin for guys Canelo hasn’t already beaten.
Parker (22-1, 16 KO), of course, definitely didn’t want to lose any fight, let alone have his first loss come due to an injury. At 28, this was a huge chance for him — he may also have been right in the mix to fight Canelo with a win, though with him being a Queensberry fighter, he might not have had the super clear road to it that Ryder will, with lots of political boxes checked and all that. Canelo is free to do as he pleases, but his history working with Matchroom always gave Ryder a leg up.