Canelo Alvarez dominates challenger John Ryder in homecoming bout

Boxing - Super Middleweight - Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez v John Ryder - Estadio Arkon, Guadalajara, Mexico - May 7, 2023 Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez  in action during his fight against John Ryder Reuters/Henry Romero

It was bloody, it was brilliant and it was beyond a shadow of a doubt for Canelo Alvarez.

The undisputed super middleweight champion dispatched challenger John Ryder by unanimous decision Saturday, setting up a potential rematch against Dmitry Bivol this fall. On the scorecards, he finished up 118-109, 118-109, 120-107.

Alvarez spent the first four rounds in control and giving Ryder a gushing nose, then got his first knockdown in the fifth. For a second, it looked the end of the fight, but Ryder got back up and showed new life to end the round.

The next several rounds weren't much different, all the way up to a ninth round in which Ryder was visibly wobbling after some hard punches from Alvarez. Ryder showed plenty of heart staying in the fight, but it wasn't what he needed to stay competitive on the scorecards.

Ryder, one of Alvarez's less-heralded opponents in recent years, earned the right to face the biggest name in boxing by defeating Zach Parker for the interim WBO super middleweight title in November. He can at least say he justified his participation Saturday.

Adding to the emotion of the night was the bout's setting at Estadio Akron near Alvarez's hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico, which allowed his 93-year-old grandmother to see 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 with an entrance featuring a 150-piece mariachi band.

The question now becomes what's next for Alvarez, though that was kind of a question before the fight as well. Up next is very likely a rematch against Bivol, who held off Alvarez's bid for a light heavyweight title last May.

Bivol remains the only person to defeat Alvarez outside of Floyd Mayweather, and reportedly wants to hold the rematch at super middleweight in a bid for Alvarez's titles. Meanwhile, Alvarez wants 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 Ramírez in November.