It was bloody, it was spectacular and it was beyond a shadow of a doubt for Canelo Alvarez.
The undisputed super middleweight champion dispatched challenger John Ryder via unanimous decision on saturday, setting up a possible rematch against Dmitry Bivol this fall. On the scorecards, it finished 118–109, 118–109, 120–107.
Alvarez spent the first four rounds in control and landed Ryder a strong nose, then scored his first knockdown in the fifth. For a second, it looked to be the end of the fight, but Ryder got back up and showed new life to end the round.
The next several rounds were not much different, until the ninth round in which Ryder looked to be staggering after some hard punches from Alvarez. Ryder showed a lot of heart to stay in the fight, but he didn't need it to stay competitive on the scorecards.
One of Alvarez's lesser-heralded opponents in recent years, Ryder earned the right to face the biggest name in boxing by defeating Zach Parker for the interim WBO super middleweight title in November. The least he can say is that he justified his participation on Saturday.
Adding to the spirit was the night at Estadio Acron near Alvarez's hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico, which allowed his 93-year-old grandmother to watch him fight for the first time in his professional career.
The Cinco de Mayo weekend bout was Alvarez's first fight in Mexico since 2011. he honored the moment An entrance featuring a 150-piece mariachi band,
The question now is what's next for Alvarez, although it was also a question of sorts before the fight. Next up is likely to be a rematch against Bivol, who stopped Alvarez's bid for the light heavyweight title last May.
Bivol is the only person to beat Alvarez outside of Floyd Mayweather, and reportedly wants to hold a rematch at super middleweight for Alvarez's title. Meanwhile, Alvarez seeks a second shot at Bivol as a light heavyweight.
Bivol's only fight since the win over Alvarez was a unanimous decision victory over Gilberto Ramirez in November.