Islington boxer faces make or break fight at Olympia

PUBLISHED: 11:43 19 January 2017 | UPDATED: 11:44 19 January 2017

John Ryder is boxing again at Olympia in February. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

John Ryder is boxing again at Olympia in February. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

©TGS Photo +44 8450 946026

John Ryder admits his career will be at a dead end unless he launches his switch to super-middleweight with a victory next month.

The 28-year-old from Islington, who has previously always boxed at middleweight – making two unsuccessful challenges for the British title – will be moving up a division for the first time at Olympia on February 4.

Ryder is pitched against Sheffield’s Adam ‘The Bomber’ Etches for the vacant IBF international super-middleweight belt – and the former Angel ABC amateur acknowledges that he cannot contemplate the prospect of defeat.

Currently preparing for the fight at a training camp in Portugal, Ryder told the Gazette: “This is a very important fight which I need to win as, if I don’t, there is nowhere much for me to go.

“I’ve boxed at middleweight throughout my career, some 13 years or so, and the time is right for me to move up to fighting at 12st, which I am looking forward to.

“Etches is a bit of a banger, he will be coming to win – as I will – and it should make for a great fight. I am already in great shape and I’ll be looking to knock him out.

“I’ve been working hard and I’m putting the finishing touches to my preparation in Portugal, away from all the cold weather back home.”

Ryder is returning to the ring for the first time since September, when he lost his WBA international middleweight title on points to Jack Armfield in Manchester.

That defeat was only the third of Ryder’s professional career, while 25-year-old Etches – who is also boxing at super-middleweight for the first time – has been beaten just once in 21 contests.

That sole blot on his record came almost two years ago in a fourth-round stoppage against Sergey Khomitsky – who Ryder trounced last year to win the WBA strap.

The pair meet on the undercard of the Poxon Promotions show, which is headed by Chris Eubank Jr’s IBO world super-middleweight title clash against Australian Renold Quinlan.

For tickets, contact Poxon Promotions on 01925 755 222.

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