Last week BoxNation caught up with John Ryder whose huge British and Commonwealth Middleweight title showdown against Billy Joe Saunders headlines the debut event at the Copper Box Arena on the 21st September, which will be shown live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546).
Ryder was respectful of the reigning champion and said Saunders is close to World level with rivals Darren Barker and Martin Murray just ahead of him, but he’ll take Saunders’ belts.
The unbeaten Islington fighter said, “He’s close to being up there with the big domestic middleweights and is at the upper part of domestic level. But Barker, who has world title, and Murray, who is unlucky not be world champion, are ahead of him. Maybe he’ll be there in a few months or a year or so he will be there. But I see things I can exploit in him and I’m going to take his belt!”
Ryder also spoke of how the depth in middleweight talent in the UK at this point in time is fast approaching that of the 90s when Eubank, Benn and Watson were in their prime: “It’s definitely becoming like those days, and with another World title now in the country with Darren it’s opening the doors for these massive domestic showdowns to happen!”
A packed Copper Box Arena multi-title show features Billy Joe Saunders v John Ryder for the British and Commonwealth Middleweight title; Dereck Chisora v Edmund Gerber for the Vacant European Heavyweight title; Frankie Gavin v David Barnes for the British and Commonwealth Welterweight Championship, Paul Butler v Miguel Gonzalez for the Vacant WBO Intercontinental Super-Flyweight Championship; Liam Walsh v Joe Murray for the Commonwealth and Vacant IBF International Super-Featherweight title; Mitchell Smith v Scott Moises for the Vacant Southern Area Super-Featherweight title.