Islington boxer John Ryder wins by impressive stoppage in Austria

John Ryder celebrates after the WBA World, WBC Diamond & Ring Magazine Super-Middleweight Titles fig

John Ryder celebrates after the WBA World, WBC Diamond & Ring Magazine Super-Middleweight Titles fight at the M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool. - Credit: PA

Islington’s world title contender, southpaw John Ryder, returned to the ring after a nine-month absence to stop Slovakian Josef Jurko.

Ryder won in Klagenfurt, Austria in the fifth round of a scheduled eight rounder on Eddie Hearn’s promotion.  

The north London fight favourite moved up to light-heavyweight for his first paid contest at the new weight at the Worthensee Stadium. He gave an impressive account to outclass and finally stop his taller and bigger opponent after one minute and 29 seconds of the fifth session.

Ryder’s paid fight record now stands at 30 wins (17 inside) with five losses.

Jurko was a good opponent, having won eight of his ten paid contests, with six of his victories coming before the final bell.

Biding his time up to the third round, Ryder then upped the tempo considerably, throwing damaging jabs, hooks and impressive uppercuts to bloody his opponent’s nose – and mouth to which Jurko had no answer.

Ryder’s onslaught continued to midway through the fifth round at which point the referee wisely saved the Slovakian from taking further and unnecessary punishment.

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The 33-year-old – who normally campaigns one weight division down at super-middleweight – moved up to light-heavyweight especially for this fight to see how efficiently he would acquit himself at this new weight, with a potential shot against WBA (Super) light-heavyweight champion, unbeaten Russian Dmitry Bivol in the offing later in the year.

Ryder is also the mandatory challenger to the WBA super-middleweight champion, David Morrell Jnr from Cuba, who is also undefeated as a professional. Although the encounter has been mooted for some months now, no formal agreement has been reached for it to take place.    

Therefore in the coming weeks Ryder and his managerial team will have to decide which championship route to take – a nice problem to have.