John Ryder (26-4 14KO) is looking to set up an all British showdown with newly crowned WBA Super Middleweight king Callum Smith this weekend, when he takes on unbeaten Russian Andrey Sirotkin (15-0 4KO).
Ryder, 30, who has experienced plenty of high’s and low’s during his professional career enters the ring on the back of two sensational knockout performances against Patrick Nielsen and Jamie Cox, respectively. Many are suggesting the Islington man is in the form of his career, to date
(Ryder stopping Nielsen October 2017)
Ryder’s opponent on Saturday is something of an unknown quantity for British fans. Sirotkin, 33, boasts a perfect record but has not fought outside of Russia in his last 10 fights and he arrives in the UK as the underdog. It would be fair to suggest that Sirotkin has not faced the same calibre of opponents as Ryder, the one notable name on his resume being former world champion Ricardo Mayorga who was a shadow of his former self at 44 years old when he fought Sirotkin in March 2017.
In support to the main event, Ryan Doyle (17-2-1 9KO) makes the first defence of his Commonwealth title against the highly regarded, Jordan Gill (21-0 5KO). Gill, 24, spent the early stages of his career on small hall, non-televised shows and has enjoyed a steady rise under the guidance of trainer, Dave Coldwell. Many individuals inside the game have touted Gill to achieve big things in the sport, none more so, than stablemate and former WBC Cruiserweight champion, Tony Bellew.
In the opposite corner to Gill, Ryan Doyle ripped the Commonwealth strap from the clutches of Reece Belotti in a thrilling clash at York hall in June. Doyle, 27, stopped Belotti with a powerful right hand in the fifth round and he is now boxing on a full time basis, which he believes is the secret to his recent success. The Manchester man commands respect and the winner of this intriguing match-up will be well placed to make an assault on a thriving British & European featherweight division.
Also in action, Bermondsey favourite Ted ‘The Big Cheese’ Cheeseman faces the enigmatic Asina ‘The Ghost’ Byfield for the Vacant British Super-Welterweight title. True to his nickname, Byfield failed to show to the initial press conference and has had plenty to say on social media during the build-up, much to the dislike of Cheeseman. Cheeseman has been faultless in his career to date and comes to the arena on Saturday on the back of a win over the well-travelled Carson Jones and an impressive knockout victory over previously unbeaten Paul Upton in June.
In the opposite corner, Byfield, although evidently talented has been inactive since his impressive stoppage victory over Sammy McNess in 2017. Since then, he has had only one routine victory 12 months ago. Byfield is extremely confident in his own ability but Cheeseman will be hoping to capitalise on his opponent’s inactivity. The winner of this contest will be lining up a fight against popular Liverpudlian, Anthony Fowler.
Saturday also marks the comeback of Cruiserweight contenders Isaac Chamberlain and Luke Watkins who clash in a 10 rounder. Both men were beaten when putting in below par performances last time out. Interestingly, both were beaten by the same opponent and now British Cruiserweight champion Lawerence Okolie. Chamberlain (9-1 4KO) has completely overhauled his team and returns to the ring the guidance of Jorge Rubio and Angel Fernandez.
Former commonwealth champion Luke ‘The Duke’ Watkins (13-1 9KO) is hoping a win this weekend will catapult him back into the reckoning for big domestic clashes