John Ryder Wins Title Eliminator Over an Injured Zach Parker
With a possible shot at undisputed super middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in the balance, top contenders Zach Parker (22-1, 16KOs) and John “The Gorilla” Ryder (32-5, 18KOs) battled in a WBO title eliminator.
Parker entered the fight with a height, reach, and power advantage. He has been out of the ring for over a year trying to make two title eliminator fights with former WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade. Being the taller man in the fight, Parker will attempt to maintain distance by working behind that educated jab.
The Gorilla entered the ring riding a wave of confidence. In his last outing, he pulled off the upset against two-time middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs. Furthermore, he has grown accustomed to fighting taller fighters and is effective at getting on the inside.
THE FIGHT STARTED GOOD EARLY
As predicted, Parker was trying to keep the fight at mid-range by using that long jab to keep Ryder at bay. In the early portions of the match, it was working as Parker was controlling the pace of the fight.
Ryder quickly picked up the pace by using the angles to get inside the jab and was landing the straight left-hand. Moreover, he bullied Parker against the ropes and started landing body shots.
Parker noticeably was only throwing one punch at a time as if something was wrong. Ryder took advantage of the opportunity to land his jab, and closed the gap on his rival by landing the straight left-hand.
At the end of round four, Parker could be seen walking back to the corner motioning the right hand. While sitting on the stool, he was in deep conversation with his trainer. When the bell sounded for the fifth round. there was some confusion until Parker walked over to Ryder to reveal he couldn’t continue due to a broken hand.
The Gorilla has pulled off the victory, claiming the WBO interim title and a possible big money fight with undisputed super middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
Before the fight ended, it was revealed the two judges scored it 39-37 for Parker with one judge scoring it even 38-38. Commentators at ringside mentioned that both teams could try for a rematch. During the post-fight interview, Ryder expressed wanting the Alvarez fight next.
By: Garrisson Bland