Islington boxer boosted by new diet ahead of comeback fight at York Hall

John Ryder (right) in action against Nick Blackwell in ttheir British middleweight title fight at th

John Ryder (right) in action against Nick Blackwell in ttheir British middleweight title fight at the O2 Arena in May - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

John Ryder’s trainer is hoping a new nutritional regime can revitalise the Islington star’s career as he prepares for his comeback fight this weekend.

Ryder returns to the ring on Saturday for the first time since slumping to an unexpected defeat in his British middleweight title clash against Nick Blackwell in May.

Since then, the 27-year-old has switched dietician – and Tony Sims, who trains Ryder at his Essex gym, believes poor eating habits played a major role in that seventh-round defeat at the O2 Arena.

“John should have beaten Blackwell easily,” Sims told the Gazette. “He did everything at the last minute, really, trying to make the weight, and he felt weak in that fight.

“He was a massive favourite and he was winning the first half of the fight, then he fell apart. There was nothing there and I could see that – it wasn’t working for him.

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“Even in his last couple of fights before that he hadn’t been looking great and I’m sure that was the reason. Now he’s changed his dietician, he gets emailed diet sheets, and he’s making the weight a lot better.

“It hasn’t been easy, in terms of confidence and so on. He’s had to readjust and we’ll have to see how he does strength-wise on Saturday – hopefully it’ll go all right.”

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Ryder, who made his name as an amateur with Angel ABC, will take on Yorkshireman Adam Jones over six rounds on Saturday’s Matchroom Boxing show at York Hall.

The north Londoner’s professional record now reads 20 wins and two defeats – both of them in British title contests, to Billy Joe Saunders in 2013 and then Blackwell.

And Sims is anxious for his man to recapture the winning habit and start to work his way into contention for a third – and possibly final – shot at the crown.

“The kid he’s fighting has never been stopped before, so what I really want is for John to get six rounds under his belt and see how he feels,” added Sims.

“Then the plan is to get back in the British title mix and hopefully get into an eliminator to fight for it again. But we’ll just see how he goes and take it from there.”

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