John Ryder is relishing the rewards of his bloody battle with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez after transforming his family’s lives.
The 35 year old recently moved his young family of four from a flat in Islington and into a house in Billericay – significantly closer to the gym of his trainer Tony Sims and an area in which he believes his two children can thrive.
Ryder impressed in competing with Alvarez, on the occasion of Cinco de Mayo weekend in the Mexican’s home city of Guadalajara, over 12 rounds despite having suffered an early knockdown and a broken nose from which he heavily bled.
Alvarez later praised Ryder – who that night was paid a career-high purse – as the finest of the eight British fighters he has encountered, but significantly more important to Ryder is that since then he has been able to improve his family’s quality of life.
One of the consequences of the pandemic is that the super middleweight was prevented from getting a mortgage, as he had planned. After a short holiday in Cancun immediately after his biggest fight he returned to London, with his fiancé Nancy found a house in the countryside in Essex that he didn’t need a mortgage to pay for, and settled his children Heidi, nine, and Brody, four, into a new school.
“We were living in a council flat,” Ryder told ProBox TV. “It’s nice to get away from [the city]. We miss the city; it’s hard to not call it a home now. [But] we’ve transitioned more to the countryside now, and we’re adjusting well.
“I suppose it was cramped, but it was home. It was home for a long time – a lot of happy memories. It’s sad to leave it behind but as another chapter closes, another one opens and we’re looking forward to this next chapter.
“[We’ve moved to a] detached house with a garden. It’s nice for the kids to have a garden. [We’ve] got lovely neighbours; just good people.
“[Life was] a bit different back then [when I and Nancy were growing up]. You could go out. You’d go out in the morning, and you’d come back for your dinner. You could be out with your mates, but the world’s changed a bit. I wouldn’t like my daughter out playing around the flats, with her friends. I just try to give her the best opportunity – and my son.
“The best opportunity; the best schooling; the best living. Just try to give them the leg-up, that – I say I never had, but – at the time I didn’t need because where I lived was good at the time and things were different then.
“The times now – it’s good that they’ve got the garden to play in; their own bedrooms; a bit more space and good schools. We got into a school the other day, and the playing fields were massive. As far as the eye can see, really. They’ve got a courtyard to play in, so they’ve got the best of both worlds.”
Ryder has returned to training three days a week in his anticipation of fighting again before the end of 2023. After the date with Alvarez he spoke of his desire to fight Gennady Golovkin; most recently Jaime Munguia’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya has described him as “perfect” for Munguia – De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions features, like Ryder’s promoters Matchroom, on DAZN – and Munguia is another opponent on which Ryder is particularly keen.
“It’s a blessing that there is the potential for a Golovkin fight, and for the [Jaime] Munguia fight,” he said. “I suppose [Golovkin] knows deep down [if he’s going to fight again], but he’s keeping his cards close to his chest.
“If he does, then my name’s in the hat. I did see that him and his brother posted the other day that they were coming home to Kazakhstan, so hopefully that could mean good news that they’re gonna fight again and we could be in the opposite corner.
“After the career he’s had, he does deserve it. His farewell in Kazakhstan, if that’s how he wants to do it.”