Boxing: Islington’s Ryder relishing ‘biggest night of career’
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Islington’s John Ryder faces the biggest night of his life at the Copper Box Arena on October 27.
The super-middleweight tops the bill in a scheduled 12-round final eliminator for the WBA world title against fellow southpaw Andrey Sirotkin from Russia.
And victory for Ryder will set him up with a world title challenge against Liverpool’s, Callum Smith, the recent conqueror of former champion and fellow Londoner George Groves.
Sirotkin, 33, is undefeated in the paid ranks with a record of 15 straight wins, with four inside the distance.
He has been a professional for over four years, while Ryder in a paid career spanning twice as long, has 26 victories (14 inside the distance) against four losses.
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Ryder said: “I’m feeling really good just now and really looking forward to this fight. My weight is fine and my training schedule has gone very well.
“Sirotkin is looked upon mainly as a southpaw, but he can operate as a switch-hitter too, so I have sparred with a wide variety of different opponents with different styles to get me ready for anything he can throw at me.
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“I respect all my opponents and I’ve seen quite a bit of him in action on tape. It is not about what he might do, but what I will do to him.
“I’ve been in this game for a long time, this is a huge opportunity for me and I intend to take it with the prize of a world title fight to follow.”
Since moving up to the super-middleweight division last year, former Angel amateur Ryder has enjoyed some of the best form of his career with explosive knockout wins over Denmark’s Patrick Nielsen and Swindon’s Jamie Cox, both highly ranked fighters.
He has grown in confidence and added fire power to his ring repertoire and is a real handful for anyone in his weight division these days.
Sirotkin has campaigned almost exclusively in contests in various venues in the Russian Federation and it will be interesting to see if he can cope with the hostile atmosphere likely to be generated by Ryder’s large army of north London fans.
Tickets are available from stubhub.co.uk and copperboxarena.org.