Ryder sets sights on Smith after winning interim world title

British super middleweight John Ryder (pic: Paul Harding/PA)

British super middleweight John Ryder (pic: Paul Harding/PA) - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

The latest boxing news from Islington

It took Islington super middleweight John Ryder less than nine minutes to capture the interim WBA world title against Bilal Akkawy in Las Vegas on Saturday.

The opening round was a quiet one with very few shots thrown and even fewer landing as both men sized the other up.

Ryder’s greater work rate won him the second session as he worked well to the body and got his jab landing effectively as well.

Early in the third round, the 30-year-old Brit landed a short powerful right hook on the counter to Akkawy’s chin which sent him tumbling backwards to the canvas.

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Though the Australian rose quickly, Ryder went after his man and drove the Akkawy to a corner of the ring where he unleashed a furious salvo of shots.

With Akkawy back up again, Ryder continued to hammer home his advantage which prompted referee Jay Nady to bring the fight to an early end.

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Ryder told Sky Sports after his win: “We didn’t know too much about Akkawy, although I had managed to see some action from some of his previous fights.

“We knew he had a high guard and could be dangerous in the early rounds.

“I have been through the highs and lows in my boxing career and now I think I deserve a shot at the world title.”

Ryder’s victory maintains his status as mandatory challenger to Liverpool’s full WBA title holder Callum Smith.

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