John Ryder respects Canelo Alvarez and the life-changing chance he was afforded Saturday night in Zapopan, Mexico.

After sharing the ring with Alvarez for 12 rounds, though, Ryder is certain that boxing’s former pound-for-pound king is past his prime. Alvarez remains boxing’s undisputed super middleweight champion and has lost only once in the past 9½ years, but he’ll turn 33 in July and has 63 professional fights on his record in a career that was launched when he was just 15 years old.

As previously reported, Ryder believes Alvarez is "past his best."

“He was very good,” Ryder said during his post-fight press conference. “I still think he’s probably past his best, but he still had enough in his tank tonight.”

Ryder indicated that an Alvarez uppercut fractured his nose just before the second round ended. The British southpaw bled badly from his nose over most of the final 10 rounds, but a resilient Ryder got up from a fifth-round knockdown and made many of the ensuing seven rounds competitive.

“After all these years of boxing, it’s the first time I broke my nose. It was a new experience. Got back to my corner, towel in my face, just couldn’t breathe. There was blood going back down my throat," Ryder said,

"It was a new experience but obviously I've got a good calming corner, calmed me down. And then after that, it was just hard to sit down and get my breathing. So I was standing up throughout the rounds. Like I said, new experience, I felt I won the first two rounds quite well. I was boxing sensibly. Then I just got careless in the last second, leaned forward, and took that big uppercut."

London’s Ryder (32-6, 18 KOs) was obviously disappointed after his loss at a sold-out Akron Stadium, near Alvarez’s hometown of Guadalajara. He still took some pride in going the distance with a four-division champion who entered the ring as at least a 16-1 favorite, according to most sportsbooks.

“He couldn’t get me out of there,” Ryder said. “His plan was to stop me – he didn’t. I know I took a great shot in the fifth round, but come back swinging and probably had some good rounds after that.”

Alvarez’s left-right combination dropped Ryder with about 1:35 to go in the fifth round. Ryder reached his feet when referee Michael Griffin counted to eight.

A battered, bloodied Ryder looked like he was on the verge of getting knocked out. The courageous contender commendably – and improbably – made it to the final bell.

“Listen, I always thought he was very good. He’s good, he sets traps, he's there. Even when you think you’re having success - which I was in the first couple of rounds - you could see that he was downloading information to stick it on in the later rounds and set the traps," Ryder said.

Ryder, 34, has been knocked out only by England’s Nick Blackwell, who stopped Ryder in the seventh round in May 2015 at O2 Arena in London.

He lost to Alvarez (59-2-2, 39 KOs) by wide distances on the scorecards of judges Jeremy Hayes, Gerardo Martinez and Joseph Pasquale. Hayes had it a shutout for Alvarez (120-107), whereas Martinez (118-109) and Pasquale (118-109) both scored two rounds apiece for Ryder.

“I’m just gutted,” said Ryder, who was the mandatory challenger for Alvarez’s WBO super middleweight title. “I’ve put so much into the sport the past few years and not always got the rub of the green. Come in with a dream, like I said, and I fell short. But that’s boxing. I’m not the first and I won’t be the last.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.