Canelo Alvarez has retained his undisputed super middleweight world title, beating John Ryder before more than 50,000 fans in his first fight in Mexico since 2011.
Alvarez cruised to the victory by scores of 120-107 on one card and 118-109 on the other two to improve to 59-2-2.
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“I hit him too much in the head and he did not go down,” Alvarez said after the fight on Saturday night at the open-air Akron Stadium in his hometown of Guadalajara.
Alvarez and Ryder started a slow-paced fight in the first two rounds, but Alvarez connected with a straight right and Ryder started bleeding from the nose after the third round.
The Mexican kept pressing the action in the fourth round, landing body shots, and then sent Ryder to the mat with a right hook to the chin.
Ryder made Alvarez uncomfortable in the fifth and landed a few shots on the face of the Mexican, but Alvarez landed another right in the ninth. Ryder stumbled, but rallied and answered with a shot that shook the Mexican.
Alvarez admitted he was not fully confident in his left hand from the opening bell.
“I needed a couple of rounds to start punching and knowing I’m good with the hand,” he said. “Now I know.”
Ryder, with a bloodied face, closed the fight well in the last two rounds, but was not enough to get the upset.
“He’s probably past his best, he could not get me out there, he wanted to stop me and could not do it,” Ryder told media after the bout.
“It could have been a little different without the problem to my nose, it took me a few rounds to get adjusted.”
It was Alvarez’s first fight since he had surgery on his left wrist last March. Before the fight, he said the injury slowed him down in his previous four fights, including his loss to light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol a year ago.
After getting a hard-fought victory over Ryder, Alvarez has his eyes set on a rematch against the Russian in September.
“That’s what we are aiming for, but we will see,” he said.