John Ryder on Career, Training, Saunders-Blandamura

By Shaun Brown

John ‘The Gorilla’ Ryder 17-1 (10 KOs) has become something of the forgotten man of the middleweight division after pushing current British and Commonwealth champion, Billy Joe Saunders, all the way last September in a unanimous decision loss.

Hand injuries have interrupted Ryder’s progress since that narrow defeat on the scorecards (114-115, 113-115, 113-115) with his only appearance having been in a six round win points win over George Kandelaki in March and a ninth round stoppage victory over Jez Wilson in a British title eliminator the month after.

With the British title still tied up, the 25 year old feels that the setbacks have come at the right time.

“It’s not been too much of a bad thing because the options aren’t really there at the moment,” he told ‘Scene this week.

“The British title isn’t there right now. It’s been a headache but it hasn’t at the same time. It’s a better time for it to happen so it can heal up and get ready again.”

Ryder, promoted by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, returns to action on Sat night at the Camden Centre in London on a Mickey Helliet promotion in another six round contest, this time against Ruslans Pojonisevs 15-32-1 (11). Ryder is confident that the metacarpal injury he suffered to his left hand late last year and earlier this year in the Wilson fight will hold up so he can push on in the second half of the British boxing season.

“I’ve been punching in the gym, hitting the pads, the bag and it’s been feeling really good so fingers crossed, touch wood. If you’ve not got confidence in your back hand then it’s not great going into a fight.

“We need to get the smaller gloves on because when you’re trying harder, you can overdo it sometimes and catch it wrong. I’ve managed to get through this camp without knocking it any more. I think that’s the thing; get through a couple of camps, not knock it and in a year or so it won’t be a worry and it’ll be fully strengthened again.”

Ryder should come through comfortably against Pojonisevs on Sat night even though the Latvian doesn’t get stopped very often and has taken two of the Londoner’s domestic rivals, Chris Eubank Jr and Nick Blackwell, the distance. Another six round contest could be Ryder’s next outing on Aug 30 in Dublin on a show headlined by Matthew Macklin before returning to England’s capital on Oct 11  at the O2 Arena on a Matchroom ‘Super Show’, as Eddie Hearn has described it, in a possible British title fight against Blackwell.

But for that to happen, Billy Joe Saunders must win the vacant European 160lb title against Emanuele Blandamura a week on Sat on the Tyson Fury-Dereck Chisora 2 bill in Manchester.

“I was out in Italy sparring Blandamura three weeks ago,” revealed Ryder.

“He’s got quick hands, it could be a very interesting fight. It’s not a foregone conclusion that Saunders is going to beat Blandamura.”

And Ryder also told ‘Scene that despite his inactivity and lack of meaningful fights he is still happy to be fighting under the Matchroom banner and they in turn are happy with him.

“I was at their media day the other week and Barry Hearn (chairman of Matchroom Sport and father to Eddie) pulled me aside to have a word with me. He told me it’s a big year for me, I’m no longer a prospect. It’s one thing hearing it from Eddie but sometimes it’s nice to hear it from Barry too. I’m with the biggest promoter in the country, why would I go anywhere else?”

Shaun Brown is the UK Editor at Boxing Scene and a contributor to Boxing Monthly. He can be contacted at [email protected] with any news, views or stories you may have.

Tags: John Ryder image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Mick Higgs on 07-18-2014

Why the hell is there a British boxing season?! It's an indoor sport, so why take a rest?!!!!

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (1)
Top Headlines Golovkin Promoter: GGG Wants Canelo, NOT Looking For Way Out! Pacquiao Camp Standing Firm That Top Rank Contract Expired Joshua Interested in UFC Deal, But Says He's 'Riding With' Hearn Photos: Ryan Garcia, Fernando Vargas - Ready For Battle WBC Prez is Shocked: This is Not The Golovkin That We Know Bob Arum: We're Not Ready To Give Up on Felix Verdejo Ryan Martin vs. Luis Eduardo Florez Tops Hollywood Fight Nights Joshua Warns Wilder: Be Realistic or We'll Freeze You Out Hughie Fury Prepares For Sexton With Bolton Wanderers Top Rank on Making Deal With Golden Boy For Loma-Linares Kautondokwa Still Unbeaten, Knocks Godoy Out in Five Parker's Trainer: Despite Taunts, Joshua 'Has Pretty Good Chin' Linares: On May 12 - Lomachenko Will Bow Down To King Jorge! Golovkin Wants Answers: What Did Canelo Inject in His Belly? Tyrone McKenna vs. Anthony Upton on Frampton-Donaire Card Photos: Anthony Joshua in Top Form, Grinds For Parker Clash Lomachenko vs. Jorge Linares - Ticket Information Whyte: Browne 'Just a Clubber;' He Hasn't Fought Anyone Like Me Ryan Garcia: I Want Gervonta Davis, I Want To Fight Him! Hearn Sides With Joshua's Position: No Face To Face With Wilder Browne: 'Idiot' Whyte Famous Only for Getting KO'd by Joshua Naoya Inoue's Power Has Improved at 118, Says Sparring Partner Hearn: Anthony Joshua is Very Interested in Rematch With Whyte Frank Bruno Issues Joseph Parker Warning To Anthony Joshua Golden Boy Prez on Golovkin: Sounds Like Fear, Making Excuses Liam Smith: There is No Way Ali Beats Even a 75% Version of Cotto Willy Vlautin and His Love For The Sport of Boxing WBC Prez is Waiting For Mikey Garcia To Make His Decision Golden Boy Prez Reacts: It Sounds Like Golovkin Wants Out! Golovkin: Those Responsible For Draw Are Terrorists, Need Jail! Golovkin: Canelo is Cheating, Using Drugs - De La Hoya is Dirty Yuriorkis Gamboa, Golden Boy Promotions Part Ways Jorge Arce Comes Out Firing in Defense of Canelo, Luis Nery Hearn Reacts To Wilder Calling Him 'White Man Milking a Brother' Ryota Murata vs. Emanuele Blandamura Will Be Carried By ESPN Julian Williams vs. Nathaniel Gallimore Finalized For SHO Triple ESPN Names Mayweather 8th Most Dominant Athlete of Past 20 Years Kautondokwa: After Godoy, I am ready for Billy Joe Saunders! Jose Ramirez's First Defense Targeted For Ballpark in Fresno Tyson Fury's New Goal - Break Joe Louis' 25 Defense Record

Latest Active Forum Threads