Ryder ready to make dreams reality by dethroning world champion Smith in Liverpool
PUBLISHED: 13:00 21 November 2019
Mark Robinson Photography Ltd
Islington southpaw John Ryder has been dreaming of becoming the super-middleweight champion of the world for many years.
And on Saturday, the 31-year-old can make that dream come true by defeating home-town favourite and reignign champion Callum Smith on the Matchroom Promotion at the M@S Arena in Liverpool.
Unbeaten Smith has 26 wins, 19 inside the distance, and puts his WBA and WBC Diamond and Ring magazine titles on the line against the former Angel amateur star over 12 scheduled rounds in an eagerly awaited clash between two outstanding contestants.
Smith has been amassing various titles for several years now, but probably his defining world title fight at super-middleweight was his seventh-round knockout of Londoner and then fellow world champion George Groves, over a year ago, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
any in the fight trade considered Groves' best days in the ring to be behind him but Ryder, a professional since September 2010 with a fine record of 28 win (16 inside) and just four losses, is brimming with confidence.
And he aims to take the champion's titles from him in his own back yard, saying: "What better way to fulfil my dream than by taking his belts in front of his adoring home town fans."
The Islington fighter holds the Interim WBA super-middleweight crown which he won in Las Vegas in May with a three-round stoppage of fellow title contender Bilal Akkawy in a sensational big-punching performance.
He added: "I have had a good, hard training camp, around 12 weeks, and have worked very well as I always do and I think he hasn't really faced an opponent quite like me before, one who pushes him all the way in every minute of the fight.
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"Of course he has height and reach advantage, he always has had that in all of his contests, but I am determined to give him problems with my own tactics, surprise him and make him question his own ability.
"He works well to the body, but so do I, and now that I am very comfortable at super-middleweight my punches are harder than ever before. Let's see how he copes with my constant aggression, power and speed."
Ryder, who has stopped his last four opponents in fine style, is confident of upsetting the odds and handing the Liverpudlian his first loss in the paid game.
He said: "I have a fantastic partner, Nancy, and all my family and friends behind me and a tremendous team in the gym, headed up by Tony Sims, whom I have complete trust in. He leaves nothing to chance and is a master at putting together a plan to deliver success on the night.
"I really cannot wait for this chance to show the boxing world what I am capable of. I have matured a lot in boxing terms over the past few years and also matured too as a man.
"Boxing is all about the right time and the right time is now, it's my time and I intend to deliver on the night."
Smith will enter the ring as the hometown favourite, but keen Arsenal fan Ryder has developed the tools and capability and above all the desire to dethrone the reigning champion.
Only since he moved up to super-middleweight has Ryder shown his true ring potential that many in the trade had predicted for him from his early days in the paid trade and as he says it is all about timing and now clearly in his mindset it is 'Ryder time'.
A few remaining tickets can still be obtained from 0344 8000 400 or at stubhub.co.uk and Matchroom Boxing on 01277 359900.