John Ryder secures WBO interim world title after injury to Zach Parker

John Ryder secured the interim WBO super middleweight world title after Zach Parker sustained a fight-ending hand injury in the fourth round.

By George Mills Published: 26 November 2022 - 11.40pm

Zach Parker’s dreams of becoming a world champion took a painful blow as he suffered a damaged hand that forced him to withdraw from his contest against John Ryder at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday night.

It was an unsatisfactory conclusion for all parties – although Ryder will be the far happier of the two fighters having reclaimed a version of the world title more than three years after winning the interim WBA middleweight belt.

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That victory moves the Islington man into a commanding position in the 165lb division with either a fight against Canelo or being upgraded to a full champion the two likely scenarios for Ryder heading into 2023.

Meanwhile Parker will need to rebuild after tasting defeat for the first time in his career.

Speaking to Jo Ankier after the fight, the 28-year-old revealed he had injured his hand in the opening moments of the fourth-round while trying to throw an uppercut that was blocked by Ryder’s elbow.

“It was hurting every time I jabbed”
- Zach Parker

"It was hurting every time I jabbed, I felt it clicking," a dejected Parker said.

The stoppage came just as the fight was beginning to come to life and Parker will be frustrated to find out three judges had scored the contest three rounds to one in his favour when the fight ended.

Parker opened the fight brightly, using his movement to stay on the outside of the ring and fire long, single shots to frustrate Ryder.

But as the rounds wore on, Ryder began to find his range and start dictating the tempo as Parker was forced to work increasingly hard to remain at length.

There weren’t many clean shots landed throughout the contest – but the most eye-catching probably came from Ryder in the fouth round as he fired a straight left down the pipe, nailing a squared-up Parker on the chin just before the bell.

That would be the final action of the evening however as Parker deemed himself unable to continue, taking off his gloves to reveal a badly swollen hand.

There was better news for some of the other stars of the Queensberry stable on an exciting night of fights, starting with a brilliant knockout win for towering cruiserweight Tommy Fletcher to take his record to 3-0.

Pierce O’Leary continued the party with a hard-fought win during an entertaining 10-round contest against the iron-chinned Emmanuel Mungadjela for the vacant WBC International super-lightweight title.

Then Dennis McCann produced a brilliant performance to stop Scottish veteran Joe Ham in the eighth round of their Commonwealth super-bantamweight showdown.

His stablemate Sam Noakes made it a hat-trick for the I Box Gym on the night with a blistering fourth-round knockout win over Calvin McCord, winning the Commonwealth super-lightweight title with his 10th KO in 10 fights.

But the performance of the night went to Hamzah Sheeraz in the chief support as he decimated River Wilson-Bent inside two rounds during a punch-perfect performance to secure the Commonwealth middleweight title in style.

Catch up on all the highlights and talking points on the BT Sport Boxing home page – or rewatch the card in full using the interactive timeline feature available to subscribers now.