By Elliot Foster
Rocky Fielding is set to get another crack at the British title.
The Liverpool super-middleweight, who was drilled inside a round by Callum Smith in November 2015 when the pair boxed for the belt, has been handed another opportunity to win the Lonsdale belt.
Fielding (23-1, 13 KOs) will take on John Ryder (24-3, 12 KOs) on April 22 at Liverpool’s ECHO Arena, exclusively live on Sky Sports.
The belt was vacated by Smith, the European champion who is awaiting a shot at the vacant WBC super-middleweight world title against Anthony Dirrell, and it was announced at a press conference on Monday that WBC International champion Fielding and IBF International champion Ryder would collide with national pride at stake.
Their showdown will take place on the undercard of Martin Murray’s guaranteed fight of the year contender against Gabriel Rosado, a clash which was confirmed via social media last week.
Ryder’s last outing came on February 4, as part of the undercard to Chris Eubank Jr.’s knockout victory over Renold Quinlan, when he beat Adam Etches to win the aforementioned fringe IBF belt.
Fielding, meanwhile, was last in action in October –– prior to becoming a father –– when he got rid of Istvan Zeller inside two rounds at the ECHO Arena.
“My last fight was last October,” Fielding said at the media conference to announce the fight, “and then my lad was born a week later.
“It gives you that extra bit of motivation, doesn’t it? That extra bit of drive to get the job done, knowing that you’ve got to provide.”
Ryder, meanwhile, said that he is “over the moon” with the fight, especially with domestic honours on the line.
“I’ve boxed at the ECHO Arena before,” he said, “on an undercard in a six-rounder, but I’m in against a great opponent in the shape of Rocky Fielding and up at super-middleweight I feel revitalised and refreshed.”
Elsewhere on the card, Tommy Carus challenges Tom Farrell for his WBA International super-lightweight title and Sean Dodd will defend his WBC International lightweight title, with his opponent to be confirmed in the next few days.
Boxing Scene understands that Scott Fitzgerald will be on the card alongside Stephen Smith.
In other news, Ronnie Clark has been added to the undercard of Josh Taylor’s next fight.
Taylor takes on Warren Joubert of South Africa in a defence of his Commonwealth super-lightweight title on March 24 at the Meadowbank Arena in Edinburgh, Scotland, and former British super-featherweight title challenger Clark (18-4-2, 10 KOs) is set to return on the bill.