Ryder cruises past late replacement in warm-up for British title fight
17:31 17 July 2013
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Islington’s John ‘Rough’ Ryder completed his 15th straight victory by stopping late replacement Yoann Bloyer in the second round in Hull on Saturday.
Ryder had been expecting to take on Guzman Castillo, but the Spaniard pulled out on Friday morning and his replacement, a French southpaw, arrived that evening.
The late change meant that the former Angel ABC star had to weigh in twice, eventually scaling 11st 13lbs, while Bloyer came in with a 5lbs advantage – comfortably into the super-middleweight bracket.
Although Bloyer came to Hull with a modest record of 16 wins, 20 losses and two draws, he remained an unknown quantity to Ryder and his team and therefore posed a potential problem.
However, the 24-year-old Londoner opened well, dominating the first session with some powerful punches to head and body while his opponent relied on some wild shots that failed to faze Ryder in the slightest.
Ryder’s trainer Colin Lake advised his charge to relax and throw more jabs – and that advice was followed as Bloyer took a fierce combination to the head at the start of the second round.
That exchange culminated in a hard left that dropped the Frenchman to the canvas and his attempts to regain his feet met with failure, prompting referee Mark Alexander to halt proceedings after a mere 45 seconds.
That victory, Ryder’s ninth inside the distance, maintained his unbeaten record ahead of September’s British middleweight title challenge against Billy Joe Saunders.
Ryder will be an interested spectator this Saturday when Saunders takes on the unbeaten Gary “Celtic Rebel” O’Sullivan for the WBO international title at Wembley Arena.
O’Sullivan, who is also the Irish middleweight champion, has recorded 10 of his 16 victories inside the distance and is expected to pose a stern test for his opponent.
A jubilant Ryder told the Gazette: “I was pleased with my early win, especially the way in which I finished the job. He was a late replacement, so I needed to have a good look at him in the opener to see what he had got.
“Maybe I tried a little too hard in the first three minutes, but Colin told me to use my jab more in the second round, and I did. It helped me set Bloyer up for that big explosive finish.
“I will have a look at Billy Joe’s fight on Saturday night and see how he does. I am having a few days off from the ring, but after that I’ll be back in full-time training, working towards my fight for the British title.”