17:00 FIRST BELL 4 x 3 mins Lightweight contest MARCUS MOLLOY 9st 11lbs v JAMIE QUINN 9st 10lbs 8oz (Liverpool) (Stockport) 6 x 3 mins Super-Lightweight contest STEPHEN SMITH 10st v JONNY PHILLIPS 10st (Liverpool) (Surrey) 18:00 LIVE ON SKY SPORTS FACEBOOK 12 x 3 mins Final Eliminator for British Lightweight Title JAMES TENNYSON 9st 8lbs 12oz v CRAIG EVANS 9st 8lbs (Belfast) (Newport) 19:00 LIVE ON SKY SPORTS 10 x 3 mins Eliminator for British Super-Lightweight Title TOM FARRELL 10st v SEAN DODD 9st 13lbs 14oz (Liverpool) (Birkenhead) 10 x 3 mins vacant WBA International Super-Welterweight Title ANTHONY FOWLER 10st 13lbs 13oz v HARRY SCARFF 10st 12lbs 15oz (Liverpool) (Derby) 12 x 3 mins vacant Commonwealth Cruiserweight Title CRAIG GLOVER 14st 2lbs 5oz v CHRIS BILLAM-SMITH 14st 2lbs 11oz (Liverpool) (Bournemouth) 12 x 3 mins WBA World, WBC Diamond & Ring Magazine Super-Middleweight Titles CALLUM SMITH 11st 13lbs 7oz v JOHN RYDER 11st 13lbs 7oz (Liverpool) (Islington) FLOATS 4 x 3 mins Super-Lightweight contest TOM AITCHISON 10st 2lbs 7oz v MATIJA PETRINIC 9st 13lbs 9oz (Skelmersdale) (Croatia) 6 x 3 mins Light-Heavyweight contest THOMAS WHITTAKER-HART 12st 10lbs 7oz v JOSIP PERKOVIC 12st 12lbs 10oz (Liverpool) (Croatia)
Mandatory challenger believes he can “exploit” ‘Mundo’
John Ryder has warned Callum Smith that he is ready to rip his WBA Super-Middleweight World title away from him and shatter his Anfield dream when they collide at the M&S Bank Arena Liverpool on Saturday, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
Despite heading into this weekend’s all-British showdown coming off the back of four big knockout wins that secured him the No 1 ranking in the WBA and earned him the interim World title, Ryder believes he is being overlooked by Liverpool’s Smith.
“I’m being overlooked but he is the World Champion and the city’s big dream of a show at Anfield,” said Ryder. “He is the front-runner but I’m coming to cause the upset and, if I beat Smith, there will be no Anfield show. They might need to find a new headliner.” Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, the four-weight World Champion, is expected to return in May and ‘Mundo’ is hoping to be on the shortlist of his opponents. Billy Joe Saunders and Gennadiy Golovkin also count among Smith’s options if he retains his belt, but Ryder is ready to derail those plans and secure a mega-fight for himself. “There have been a lot of highs and lows in my career so even fighting for a World title would have been a dream not so long ago. But now it’s here. In reality, without taking your eye off the ball, you do look at the carrot that’s being dangled. There are super-fights with big, massive names in America and you can’t help but to get excited. “Winning would make be No 1 in the division and Canelo has proved that he likes to take on the top dogs, so you never know. But Smith is No 1 for a reason and I can’t take my eye off the ball with him.
“He hasn’t put a foot wrong, looked good in beating George Groves and Hassan N’Dam, but I just believe I can exploit him. I’m a different kettle of fish to what he’s faced before.”
Smith vs. Ryder tops a huge night of action in Liverpool. Craig Glover (10-2, 8 KOs) takes on Chris Billam-Smith (9-1, 8 KOs) for the vacant Commonwealth Cruiserweight title, Anthony Fowler (10-1, 8 KOs) meets Harry Scarff (8-0, 1 KO) for the WBA International Super-Welterweight title, James Tennyson (25-3, 21 KOs) and Craig Evans (20-2-2, 3 KOs) square-off in a final eliminator for the British Lightweight title, Tom Farrell (17-2, 5 KOs) clashes with Sean Dodd (16-5-1, 3 KOs) in a must-win encounter for both men, Liverpool Light-Heavyweight talent Thomas Whittaker-Hart (3-0, 1 KO) aims to end his first year as a pro in style, former World title challenger Stephen Smith (27-4, 15 KOs) returns, Liverpool Super-Lightweight Marcus Molloy (1-0) and Skelmersdale Welterweight Tom Aitchson (1-0) both go for their second win in the pro ranks.
“It’s always great to be in Liverpool and even better when we’re bringing World Championship boxing to the city and even better when you’ve got one of your own defending his World Championship. It’s also not just any one of your own, the number one In the division, Callum Smith – the reigning WBA, WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine Super-Middleweight Champion of the World.
“I am delighted to confirm his opponent, his mandatory challenger John Ryder, of course on one of the hottest spells in the division right now. Stoppages, four of them on the bounce against Jamie Cox, Patrick Nielsen, Andrey Sirotkin and Bilal Akkawy on the Canelo card recently in Las Vegas. He’s on a great run of form and it is so good to have a domestic fight for the World Championship like I said, I was talking to Callum about the top 15 and looking at voluntary defences and sometimes it’s difficult when you have achieved what he’s achieved to really get your teeth into one of those and I know that you lot want to see a good fight. You want to see someone who is coming to fight, coming to win and achieve their dream of becoming a World Champion and Callum Smith knows that this is a very real test and challenge and he’s dealing with his mandatory at the right time.
“We talk about the Anfield fight and there is a lot of people on this card, who will be part of that Anfield dream if you like. Talks with Liverpool FC are ongoing about a fight in May and I know that Callum Smith and John Ryder aren’t thinking about this but as a city there is a massive opportunity. I think that everybody on this card, from the Scouse side who wins then they’re going to be coming along for the ride at Anfield as well. John Ryder has different ideas, he’s here to gatecrash that party and here to become World Champion and win those three belts. This is a great main event on November 23, live on Sky Sports and DAZN.
“Adam Smith is delighted with this fight. For Sky Sports to have a big domestic World Championship fight on Saturday night Fight Night is very important for Sky, us and Callum Smith who is coming back from boxing on the road, in the WBSS, winning the titles in Saudi Arabia and defending them at Madison Square Garden, now getting the chance to defend his World Championships in Liverpool and I think that you guys are going to get behind him. Tickets go on sale to Fight Pass members today at 2pm and general sale tomorrow.
“As usual, we are focusing on the city and making sure that we have all the best fighters from Liverpool on the card. This is going to be a great fight, we look forward to a great night in this great city on November 23 at the M&S Bank Arena, great undercard as well with plenty more to be added moving forward.”
Callum Smith – Liverpool, England – 26-0, 19 KOs – defending his WBA World, WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine Super-Middleweight titles against John Ryder:
“It’s good to be back in Liverpool, I said that when I turned professional I was good enough to win a World title and bring it home to the city and this is my chance to perform in front of my own fans. I thought that winning a World title was the top of the mountain but when I won it I realised it wasn’t. There is a lot more boxes I want to tick, Madison Square Garden was one, defending my World title in Liverpool is definitely one and there is talk of a massive 2020 for me. All of that disappears if I slip up on November 23 so I am fully motivated. I worked hard to become a World Champion and I am going to work even harder to keep it – That all starts on November 23.
“Every fight in my career has been a must-win from my debut until now, I’ve always thought that if I want to get to where I want to be then I can’t lose. I need to keep winning and see how good I am by challenging myself against the biggest names in the division and the best names in boxing and I can’t go on and do that if I lose against John Ryder. He is a good fighter on a good run of form but so am I, I am number one in the world for a reason and the best version of me beats every Super-Middleweight on the planet and that includes John Ryder.
“People always talk about 175 and it is an option, I would love to be a two-weight World Champion. I want to stay in boxing to achieve as much as I can and becoming a two-weight World Champion is something that I would like to do. I want to clear up at Super-Middle and unify the division and become undisputed. I am massive for the weight but I have got a great team and a great nutritionist and I am very dedicated. I do the weight well and my last few performances show that I can do the weight well and as long as that’s the case I will keep winning and clean up the division.
“There is massive fights out there, I am in a division where there is four undefeated World Champions and I believe that I am the best. If you have got a belt at my weight then you’re part of my plans and they’re the fights that I want. They’re the fights that motivate me but like I said before, I am fully focused on November 23 and John Ryder and I don’t just want to win, I want to win well and put on a big performance.”
John Ryder – Islington, England – 28-4, 16 KOs – challenger Callum Smith for the WBA World, WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine Super-Middleweight titles:
“The Akkawy fight was a box ticked, it’s a dream to fight in Vegas on such a prestigious card but this is the real dream now, a World title fight. I have got a great team around me, Tony is working hard on my boxing and I just believe that I am in the best place possible mentally and physically. I have worked hard, I have had four hard fights and beat the number one in Patrick Nielsen. It has taken me longer than expected to get here but I am here now and this is a fight that I believe I can win. He is a great champion, he beat a great champion to win the belts and he is the world number one – I want to test myself against the best.”
Charlie Sims, Manager of John Ryder:
“This is a huge moment for John Ryder. It’s an extremely proud moment for me being part of John’s team. Anyone who knows John’s career knows that he’s had all time lows. There’s been times in John’s career where we didn’t know where he was going to go. This is by far, not only the biggest fight John could get, but this is challenging for the number one spot in the Super-Middleweight division and I think the run of form that John’s on, he’ll be walking into this fight believing that he’s going to win on November 23, so we look forward to that fight.”
David Price – Liverpool, England – 25-6, 20 KO’s – defending his WBA Continental Heavyweight title:
“I am just enjoying the sport again, I think the Dave Allen fight was the first fight in years that I actually felt like I’d won. Even though I had won, I was analysing after it saying it wasn’t good enough and maybe being a bit too hard on myself but that one was a performance. I ticked a lot of boxes that fight and I’ve never really used proving people wrong as a motivation but that felt good and I was like this is f*****g great! I want people to keep doubting me but initially after the fight I thought I can get a big fight now and cash out but after a week or so, I realised its not the time to cash out yet.
“If I can play my cards right and continue to perform, I can go further and it adds to the story which is already quite interesting. I’ve had ups and downs and interesting things happening to me and you could write a book about it. I am just so happy that I have got the opportunity again to fight on a Matchroom show on Sky. The people seem to be getting behind me again and I just want to build on it and move onwards and upwards.
“It is only now, when my confidence is up that I can truly recognise it was down. Everything is just flowing and feeling easier because I’m enjoying it and my confidence is back up. When I think back to the Povetkin fight my confidence wasn’t there and I was more just hopeful of winning, now I will be getting in the ring and believing that I’m going to do a job.”
Craig Glover – Liverpool, England – 10-2, 8 KO’s – facing Chris Billam-Smith in a Cruiserweight contest:
“I sort of echo what Chris says. Stylistically me and Chris is a really good fight. That spar we had, you can’t take too much from it, but I think everyone that watched it was like ‘wow’. It’s a must-win fight for the both of us so it’s all on the line. I think it’s going to gel and potentially be fight of the night. The only thing that matters is me winning this fight. There’s big fights out there but this is the only fight that I’m thinking of. This is the fight that I’ve got to win.”
Chris Billam-Smith – Bournemouth, England – 9-1, 8 KO’s – facing Chris Craig Glover in a Cruiserweight contest:
“Thanks for having me on the show. I’m looking forward to it. I boxed in the M&S Bank Arena as an amateur in the ABA’s so I’m familiar with he place and the city as well. Last time was a great experience, it was a good fight, one we thought that we won. We felt comfortable when the final bell went. That’s obviously a rematch that I’d like in the future. First off I’m fighting Craig, we’ve sparred before and Craig is a great lad but this is business and it can only be a cracking fight, I’m certain of that. We only sparred the once but it was a close spar, it was a good spar and a good one to watch. I knew then that we would meet at some point in the future. It’s a cracking fight and we’re both exciting to watch with come-forward styles. I believe that it will be an absolute barnburner.”
Anthony Fowler – Liverpool, England – 10-1, 8 KO’s – taking part in a Super-Welterweight contest:
“It’s great to be boxing in Liverpool. It’s my third fight of the year. I’m very grateful to have the chance to box in front of my home crowd which is great. I want to keep winning and get that rematch to make things right and then move onto bigger and better things. There’s no point in me fighting at catch weights when I’m not going to move up. I need to make 154, make it well, get used to it and then when I get the rematch eventually, I’ll be ready at the weight. I never lost that fight because of the weight, I’d love to make excuses but I lost it because of my own mental state. I’ve learnt my lesson from looking past people and being over confident and every fight now I’m treating as a World title fight. On November 23 I’ll be ready for anything. I’m hoping Fitzgerald comes through his fight with Cheeseman, I’ll be gutted if he loses but either way I don’t really care, I’m not bothered by the belt I just want the rematch.”
Tom Farrell – Liverpool, England – 16-2, 5 KO’s – facing Sean Dodd in a Super-Lightweight contest:
“I thought I was going to be earmarked for this show anyway to be honest. I had my eye on a decent fight to get the ball rolling and get me back in contention for 2020. I think Masher was the last person that I had on my mind. Like you said there, we are good mates and there isn’t going to be any animosity between us, we’re not going to be calling each-other all sorts, we’ll leave that to anyone else who wants to have a go.
“We’ll definitely be putting on a good show for the fans. I think there will be loads of us there. As you said, I always have a good crowd behind me and the Birkenhead faithful are always there for Masher. I’m one of the most liked lads in Liverpool fighting against one of the most liked lads in the UK in Masher Dodd. We’ll get in the ring on the night and put on a good fight for the fans. It’s a fight that we both had to take really. I’m coming off a defeat in March, 6 months ago. I just want to get active again and get the ball rolling. I want to get a good win to get the rust off and then it’s full steam ahead to November 23.
“I think this is Masher’s last chance, he’s a bit older than me. I think he tried to blag Steve Wood before and say he’s only 31 but he’s not he’s 35. I’ll be 30 on November 23 so I want to be celebrating that night with all of my family and friends. It’s going to be a massive night and I’ve had plenty of big nights. Our careers have run sort of like parallel at the same sort of time but I think I’ll have enough experience and enough quality on the night to come out and springboard myself back into contention and get my career back on a good path. The last 12 months have been a bit difficult for me and my career has stalled a little bit so this is a big chance for me to push on and get a title.”
Thomas Whittaker Hart – Liverpool, England – 2-0, 1 KO – taking part in a Light-Heavyweight contest:
“I’m looking forward to fighting in Newcastle, I’ve just got to get the job done there and then hopefully come back here and do my first six rounder, put things together and hopefully get another knockout victory. I’ve got a lot of experience behind me from my time with Team GB so I’m not really worried about how fast I move. I’m just taking it all in and enjoying it at the minute.”
Callum Smith will defend his WBA World, WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine Super-Middleweight titles against WBA mandatory challenger John Ryder at the M&S Bank Arena Liverpool on Saturday November 23, shown live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
Smith (26-0, 19 KOs) landed the WBA World title and was crowned World Boxing Super Series Champion following a stunning seventh round knockout victory over British rival George Groves in Saudi Arabia last September – a win that also saw the Liverpudlian claim the vacant Ring Championship.
He put those titles on the line for the first time against two-time Olympian and former Middleweight World ruler Hassan N’Dam on his US debut at Madison Square Garden in New York earlier this year, flooring the French-Cameroonian three times in three rounds as he delivered a clinical display.
‘Mundo’ returns home to fight in his native Liverpool for the first time since outpointing Sweden’s Erik Skoglund in September 2017 knowing that a win over his fellow Brit Ryder is vital if he is to secure a dream fight at Anfield next year.
Ryder (28-4, 16 KOs) earned the number-one ranking with the WBA with a seventh round technical knockout win against previously undefeated Russian Andrey Sirotkin in their final eliminator clash at the Copper Box Arena in London last October.
‘The Gorilla’ stopped Bilal Akkawy to win the vacant interim WBA Super-Middleweight title last time out on the undercard of Saul Alvarez-Daniel Jacobs at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and in doing so kept himself in line for Smith’s crown.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to return to Liverpool as World Champion to defend my titles,” said Smith. “It’s always been a dream of mine to bring World Championship boxing to the city and hopefully this is the first of a big run of fights here.
‘My last three fights have been on the road in Germany, Saudi Arabia and New York and whilst they have been incredible experiences, there is nothing quite like a big fight night in Liverpool. It’s also pleasing that I get to be involved in a domestic fight against a tough opponent in John Ryder.
“He has fought his way to mandatory challenger and is on a big run of knockout wins that make him full of confidence. I’m working hard in camp to be at my best and make a statement as we head into a huge 2020. Right now the focus is on Ryder and defending my belts in style in my city on November 23.”
“I’m buzzing to be fighting for the full World title,” said Ryder. “I’ve worked hard to get myself into the mandatory position and keep myself there. I feel like I’m in the form of my life and this opportunity has come at the perfect time. Callum Smith is a great opponent and a great champion but I feel unbeatable at the moment.
“He’s an undefeated World Champion and he hasn’t put a foot out of line so far, so I know what I’m up against on November 23. With the form that I’m in now, I believe that I can beat anyone. I’m confident that I’ll get it right on the night and get the victory.
“People will see me beating Callum as a big upset but I don’t see it like that. I believe that I’ve got the ability to win and that’s what I plan to do. This is the chance that I’ve taken. I’m heading into the lion’s den to get the win and shatter his Anfield dreams.”
“I always love coming to Liverpool but when one of their own headlines in a World title fight, there’s nothing quite like it,” said Eddie Hearn. “I’m so happy Callum gets this chance to return to the city as champion in a brilliant domestic fight. Callum has established himself as the number 1 Super-Middleweight on the planet right now and John Ryder is on a brilliant run that has seen him become the WBA interim champ and the mandatory challenger. It’s Liverpool vs. London in what I expect to be an intriguing fight for the 168 marbles.”
Adam Smith, Head of Sky Sports Boxing, said: “Callum Smith returns to Liverpool as the world’s best Super-Middleweight for an exciting domestic clash against John Ryder, who is in red-hot form.
“It’s brilliant to have Smith back on Sky Sports, in one of the pivotal nights in our stacked boxing schedule. An Anfield night could lie ahead for him, but Ryder has really transformed his fortunes in recent months and has earned his shot at a World title.
“We’re expecting another electric atmosphere on November 23 in Smith’s home city, a thriving hotbed for sport as Liverpool target the Premier League title.”
David Lemieux (40-4, 34 KOs) will make his 168-pound debut when he takes on John “The Gorilla” Ryder (27-4, 15 KOs) for the WBA Interim Super-Middleweight World title in the scheduled 12-round co-main event of Canelo vs. Jacobs on Saturday, May 4 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, shown live in the US on DAZN and Sky Sports in the UK.
“There comes a time when every fighter must move up in weight, and now is that time for David Lemieux,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy.
“Lemieux was the hardest-hitting puncher in the 160-pound division, and I’m absolutely certain he will be the biggest puncher at 168 pounds. John Ryder will be in for a tough fight on May 4. Also, this undercard will also feature some of our brightest stars, including Vergil Ortiz Jr., who with only 12 fights will face a tough veteran in Mauricio Herrera. Golden Boy and DAZN have crafted an excellent night of action, so don’t miss out on this one!”
Lemieux, 30, was last seen on the televised pay-per-view undercard of Canelo vs. GGG2 when he scored a first-round knockout victory against Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan.
The native of Montreal, Canada promises to be stronger than even in his super middleweight debut.
“I’ve seen [John] Ryder fight,” said David Lemieux. “He’s a credible rival, but I’m going to make a statement out of what I’m going to do with him. At 168, I’m going to be the strongest that I’ve ever been.”
Ryder is a 30-year-old native of London who is the No. 1 contender for the WBA Super-Middleweight Title. Ryder has faced tough opposition, including a close fight against Rocky Fielding and a tough battle against Billy Joe Saunders.
The “Gorilla” is coming off a seventh-round technical knockout win against previously undefeated Andrey Sirotkin, and he’ll look to retain his shot at the title with a win against Lemieux.
“I’m fully focused on the fight with David Lemieux but obviously there’s a massive pot of gold for the winner,” said John Ryder.
“There’s the potential for a fight with Canelo or a fight with Callum Smith, which are both huge. Lemieux is a big puncher if you stand in front of him. I’m a boxer-fighter. I’ll box him at times and fight him at other times when it suits me. Our fighting styles are sure to gel for a great fight. I’m expecting to win and to win well. I’m there to keep my mandatory position.”
“We can’t wait for David to show that he can be a powerhouse in the super middleweight division. What better way to demonstrate this than by fighting the No. 1 contender in John Ryder!” said Camille Estephan, President of Eye of the Tiger Management.
“This is a great fight on an great night of boxing,” said Eddie Hearn, Managing Director of Matchroom Sport.
“John Ryder has been on a tremendous run and now takes to the big stage in Las Vegas with the dangerous David Lemieux. It’s a huge fight for both with the winner being mandatory challenger for Callum Smith and I fully expect that to be John Ryder.”
Five 50-50 fights feature on unmissable October 27 Copper Box Arena card
John Ryder faces Andrey Sirotkin in a Final Eliminator for the WBA Super-Middleweight World title at the Copper Box Arena in London on October 27, live on Sky Sports and DAZN in the US.
Islington’s Ryder is back in action following his stunning two-round destruction of Jamie Cox on the Bellew vs. Haye 2 undercard at The O2 in May.
It was another explosive statement from ‘The Gorilla’ following his brilliant win over Patrick Nielsen inside five rounds, and now he finds himself just one win away from a dream World title shot.
Russia’s Sirotkin, the current WBA Inter-Continental Champion, sits two places behind Ryder in the rankings at number 5 and is unbeaten in all 15 of his contests, picking up a number of ranking titles from the WBC and WBO along the way.
“It’s great to be boxing back on Sky Sports again and to be headlining in my home town is a proud moment for me,” said Ryder. “That’s going to spur me on to get the win and put me in contention to fight for a World title.
“This is such a big fight for me, I’ve had to be patient off the back of two big wins, but things have fallen in to place now and I’m fully focused. The winner goes on from here and it’s a long, hard road back for the loser.”
Main event on October 27 will be supported by one of the best trade cards of the year.
Ted Cheeseman and Asinia Byfield battle it out for the Vacant British Super-Welterweight title in one of the most highly-anticipated domestic matchups of the year.
‘The Big Cheese’ has been making a name for himself in the 154lbs division with notable wins over Carson Jones and most recently Paul Upton. A fight with rising star Anthony Fowler could await for the winner of the Lord Lonsdale belt.
Ryan Doyle looks to build on his shock win over Reece Bellotti as he defends his Commonwealth Featherweight belt against the talented and undefeated Jordan Gill.
Doyle hit the big time when he stopped Bellotti after five epic rounds at York Hall in June and isn’t wasting anytime as he jumps straight into another banger with Dave Coldwell’s 21-0 prospect.
Luke Watkins and Isaac Chamberlain meet in a crunch Cruiserweight contest as both men look to move on from first career losses to rising star Lawrence Okolie and Jake Ball begins life under new trainer Dominic Ingle with a WBA Inter-Continental Light-Heavyweight title fight with Craig ‘Spider’ Richards.
There’s action elsewhere from Wokingham Middleweight Felix Cash, Brentwood Super-Featherweight Martin J Ward, Watford Featherweight Reece Bellotti, Canning Town Light-Heavy Charlie Duffield and Mill Hill Heavyweight George Fox.
“This is a wonderful night of boxing – Five 50-50 televised fights, it’s going to be a banger,” said Eddie Hearn. “John Ryder has a great chance to earn his shot at the World title and Cheeseman vs. Byfield could be domestic Fight of the Year. Doyle vs. Gill, Chamberlain vs. Watkins and Ball vs. Richards are all ‘pick-ems’. Fans on Sky Sports, DAZN and in the arena are in for a great night on October 27.”
Tickets are priced £40, £60, £80, £100 and £200 (VIP) and go on sale to Fight Pass members at midday today (September 13) and General Sale begins on Friday September 14 at midday via www.stubhub.co.uk and www.copperboxarena.org.