Zach Parker’s shot at the WBO Interim world super middleweight title against John Ryder was aborted at the end of the fourth round when the Derby man was unable to continue due to a hand injury.
In what was shaping up to be an exciting and evenly-contested fight, the previously unbeaten Parker appeared to be edging the rounds and was ahead 39-37 on two of the scorecards, with the other being even.
It was a bitter disappointment for the fans inside The O2 and for Parker, who was making confident strides towards full world title contention.
“Zach started well, got behind the job well and was peppering me a bit there,” reacted Ryder afterwards. “I felt like the tide might be starting to turn and I was getting more on top, but these things happen in boxing. It is a bad injury for him and it feels like half a robbery victory for me.”
“Obviously I am absolutely gutted,” added Parker. “It was at the start of the round, I hit him with an uppercut and you can see from my hand that it is out now.
“He is obviously a good lad who will go on and do good things in boxing and I will come back stronger.
“I was warming into the fight and it was becoming a good fight. When the injury happened at the start of that last round I kept having to move because every time I jabbed him it was hurting and clicking.”
Ryder is now on the cusp of challenging Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas on May 6. If the Mexican superstar doesn’t take the fight, Ryder will be handed the full version of the WBO strap.