‘The writing was on the wall’ – John Ryder announces retirement from boxing after 14-year career



John Ryder
Ryder bows out with a record of 32 wins and seven defeats (Picture: Getty)

Former world title challenger John Ryder has announced his retirement from boxing, hanging up his gloves after a 14-year professional career.

The Londoner, 35, challenged pound-for-pound great Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez for the undisputed super-middleweight title last May, going 12 rounds with the Mexican before losing on the judges’ scorecards.

His attempt to earn another crack at world title gold ended in defeat against Jaime Munguia in January, stopped in the ninth round out in Arizona.

Ryder won his first 15 fights before losing to Billy Joe Saunders in a British and Commonwealth title fight in 2013. He also suffered domestic defeats up against Nick Blackwell and Rocky Fielding, while he was on the end of a very controversial defeat to Callum Smith in his first world title bout in 2019.

Following those setbacks, Ryder reignited his career with an excellent win over former middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs in 2022, following that up with another victory over the previously undefeated Zach Parker – a fight where his opponent was forced to pull out at the end of the fourth round with a broken right hand.

Those wins earned him a date with Canelo in what was the biggest payday of his career. Never ducking a challenge, ‘The Gorilla’ won praise for a valiant performance up against the man then viewed as perhaps the best fighter on the planet on his home turf in Mexico.

Heading into 2024, Ryder decided a defeat to Munguia would mark the end of the road.

John Ryder
Ryder went 12 months

‘It is a day I never thought would come, especially when I turned professional at 23,’ Ryder told Metro.co.uk.

‘The decision was left down to me, the ball was always in my court. Tony [Sims, Ryder’s trainer] looked at me the other day after the fight and we both knew the writing was on the wall.

‘I knew what the plan was even before the fight, I knew another loss would mean it is time. The defeat made it a lot easier to stick with that decision, another win might have had me thinking about one last hurrah. But now I know it is not there anymore.’

While set to deserve a well-deserved break with his family, Ryder plans to stay immersed in the world of boxing as a coach, alongside his long-time trainer Sims at the Matchroom Gym in Essex.

‘I have got nothing but fond memories,’ he continued.

‘I am still very much in love with the sport, I feel like I have got more from boxing than boxing has got from me. That’s a positive I can take. That is why I am eager to get back into boxing and get involved with the next batch of fighters.

‘I’m definitely looking to move into coaching. It would be nice to work alongside Tony who has been a great coach to me. I have seen what he has done for myself and other fighters and I want to keep that going.’

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