John Ryder secured the most important victory of his career in albeit bizarre fashion versus Zach Parker at the O2 Arena on Saturday night.
The fight was teed up nicely after four rounds before Parker was forced to withdraw from the contest after suffering an injury to his right hand.
“I was warming into it nicely then did that [the injury] at the start of the [fourth] round and then I couldn’t keep him off with one hand. I’m fuming.”, Parker told BT Sport post-fight.
Derby’s Parker started well, showing fleeting footwork to pick Ryder off before the Londoner slowly grew into the fight.
Ryder began to cut the ring off with greater intensity and backed Parker up to the ropes with a solid jab and accurate hooks as his momentum started to grow before the sudden ending.
Despite the premature ending, Ryder now looks set for a second shot at a world title and holds a particularly strong ranking for Canelo Alvarez‘s WBO strap at super-middleweight.
Alvarez has spoken of his desire to fight on British shores in the past, with Ryder now in prime position to land a big money fight against the pound-for-pound star.
Ryder’s record now stands at 32-5-0(18KOs), while Parker’s moves to 22-1-0,(16KOs) respectively.
Hamzah Sheeraz became one of three newly-crowned Commonwealth champions on the night with a two-round demolition of River Wilson-Bent in the chief support.
Sheeraz flew out the blocks behind a stiff jab and pinpoint straight right-hand in the first before stepping up the gears again in the second.
Wilson-Bent looked like a deer trapped in headlights and was bundled to the canvas following scuffing left and right hooks in the final twelve seconds.
The Midlander’s eyes widened as he looked to his corner before he was put out of his misery and the fight was waved off.
Sheeraz is the first to halt Wilson-Bent as a professional and now boasts a still undefeated record of 17-0-0(13KOs).
Sam Noakes claimed the secondva cant Commonwealth title of the night with a fourth-round stoppage of Calvin McCord at lightweight.
Noakes started aggressively in the first three sessions and scored a hat-trick of knockdowns in the opening two minutes of the fourth with well-timed rights to the body.
McCord bravely climbed to his feet each time but was clearly feeling the impact before another body shot left him down again for the fourth time in the round.
Referee Victor Loughlin halted the bout after reaching eight to save the Ayr man from further punishment.
Noakes now has his first title and stands at 10-0-0 as a professional.
Stablemate Dennis McCann also clinched the vacant Commonwealth title down at super-bantamweight champion with a ninth-round stoppage of Scotland’s Joe Ham.
McCann was the more active and accurate of the two from the start and picked his shots well as he looked to break the Scot down.
The Kent man grew increasingly confident the longer the fight went on and a big uppercut followed by a barrage of pinpoint hooks forced referee Marcus McDonnell to wave the bout off at 0:32 of the eighth.
McCann now has the first major title of his pro career, with his record standing at 14-0-0,(8KOs).
Dublin’s heavy-handed Pierce O’Leary scored two knockdowns Emmanuel Mungandjela on the way to a unanimous decision ten-round victory at super-lightweight.
Big right hooks floored the brave Namibian in the first and fifth rounds to earn O’Leary a wide 99-90, 99-89 and 96-92 victory on the judge’s scorecards.
O’Leary moves to 11-0-0(6KOs) as a professional.
Cruiserweight Tommy Fletcher secured his third knockout victory in as many outings as he laid out Jiri Krejci in the first round with a devastating left uppercut.
Welterweight Sonny Ali won all six rounds of his contest versus Georgi Velichkov to move to 5-0-0.