The Canelo vs Ryder undercard is in the past, with wins for , Gabriel Gollaz, who got a debatable one over Stevie Spark; and Nathan Rodriguez and a returning Oleksandr Gvozdyk.
Here’s a rundown of what we saw on the PPV undercard.
Julio Cesar Martinez TKO-11 Ronal Batista
We saw the limitations of Martinez (20-2, 15 KO) again, but in the end he did enough damage for referee Celestino Ruiz to step in at 1:00 of round 11, retaining his WBC flyweight title.
It’s another fight where Martinez — who should have been clearly ahead at the time of the stoppage, mind you, and led unofficially 97-91 on both of our two unofficial cards — just looked like he’s hit a hard ceiling, hasn’t been the same fighter since he got smoked by Chocolatito Gonzalez. My theory is simply that there’s more tape on him now and he just doesn’t really make adjustments. Our Patrick Stumberg believes there’s something to Martinez losing a sense of “invincibility” from that fight, and I can see that, too.
Batista (15-3, 9 KO) was a massive underdog here, a borderline (at best) no-hoper, but he had a solid game plan and fought pretty well. He was docked a point in round four for hitting after the bell, and he was dropped in round seven, but he was there to fight and he gave this a good, sincere effort.
Julio Cesar Martinez gets a clean knockdown on Ronal Rolando Batista.— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) May 7, 2023
This fight… #CaneloRyder is LIVE on DAZN PPV in the US and Canada and available as part of your regular subscription in selected territories. pic.twitter.com/in2JIYx6Sg
Julio Cesar Martinez STOPS Ronal Rolando Batista with a big flurry of punches. #CaneloRyder is LIVE on DAZN PPV in the US and Canada and available as part of your regular subscription in selected territories. pic.twitter.com/xa5x1mD0Ls— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) May 7, 2023
Gabriel Gollaz SD-10 Stevie Spark
This is a very debatable outcome. One judge had Spark winning 95-94, and the other two had 95-94 and 96-93 for Gollaz. I can imagine a 95-94 for Gollaz, particularly fighting at home in Mexico, but the 96-93 is tough to defend.
For what it’s worth, I had it 95-94 for Spark and Wil had it 96-93 for Spark, and one of the rounds I gave to Gollaz easily could have gone to Spark, too. I think Spark (16-3, 14 KO) is going to rightly feel hard done by for this decision.
Gollaz (27-3-1, 16 KO) did score a knockdown in round six, but Spark responded well after that, too, winning the next three rounds on my unofficial card, and while I wouldn’t say he totally dominated in the latter portion of the fight, it seemed like he probably did enough there and had done enough in the first five rounds to come up with six rounds total, at least, but it’s boxing.
This was also a really good fight, great action and great heart from both guys,
Gabriel Gollaz Valenzuela scores a BIG knockdown against Steve Spark. #CaneloRyder is LIVE on DAZN PPV in the US and Canada and available as part of your regular subscription in selected territories. | @autozone pic.twitter.com/QORhz94WNZ— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) May 7, 2023
Nathan Rodriguez MD-10 Alexander Mejia
Scores here were 95-95, 96-93, 96-94. Bad Left Hook unofficially had it 98-92 and 98-92 on two separate cards, but it’s worth remembering we had TV angle, and the ringside judges did not. I wasn’t actually surprised by the scores.
Rodriguez, 18, goes to 11-0 (7 KO), and this was a good test and really good experience for a fighter that young, going a full 10 rounds against a scrappy vet like Mejia (19-6, 8 KO), who came to fight, didn’t give anything to the featherweight prospect, and absolutely booked himself another four or five fights similar to this one in the coming days.
Oleksandr Gvozdyk TKO-6 Ricards Bolotniks
The result itself may lead you to believe that Gvozdyk looked like he was back, but it’s kinda tough to tell. The 36-year-old returned to the ring in February after having not fought since being beaten down by Artur Beterbiev in 2019, and this matchup with Bolotniks was a more serious test of his comeback.
For five rounds, Gvozdyk (19-1, 15 KO) looked OK, but definitely slower than in the past, a little pedestrian, wasn’t putting power on his shots. It resembled a sparring contest, honestly, as Bolotniks (19-7-1, 8 KO) seemed mostly OK just going along for the ride, too.
Then in the sixth, Gvozdyk asserted himself, and pretty suddenly, that was that. That’s a major flash of the old Gvozdyk; you could see it a couple other times on shots, too. But he remains something of a mystery early in this comeback bid. With another fight, he might get about as “back” as he’s gonna get, and then we’ll see. But light heavyweight is not terribly strong after Bivol and Beterbiev, so he’s in the mix just with his history and name.