John Ryder to Defend WBA Middleweight Title

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John Ryder to Defend WBA Middleweight Title
Ryder beat Sergey Khomitsky to win the title. (Photo: Action Images/Andrew Couldridge)

Ryder beat Sergey Khomitsky to win the title. (Photo: Action Images/Andrew Couldridge)
Ryder beat Sergey Khomitsky to win the WBA title. (Photo: Action Images/Andrew Couldridge)

John Ryder will defend his WBA International middleweight title over a scheduled 12 rounds against Jack Arnfield at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, on Saturday, September 24, on the same card as Anthony Crolla defending his WBA World lightweight title against Jorge Linares.

A native of London, 28-year-old Ryder is a six-year ring vet (23-2, 12 KOs) who won the then-vacant title in January by beating Sergey Khomitsky via unanimous decision. Eleventh-ranked by the WBA, “The Gorilla” most recently fought in May, outpointing Robert Talarek. The southpaw has only been stopped once, thus losing out on the vacant BBBofC British middleweight title, when he lost to Nick Blackwell by seventh-round TKO in May 2015.

His unusually tall opponent (6’2″) has fought out of his native Blackpool since 2007, though out of the ring in 2010, 2011, and 2014 (20-2, 5 KOs). The 27-year-old most recently fought in March, stopping Alistair Warren by fifth-round TKO. Like Ryder, Arnfield has lost to Blackwell. Unlike Ryder, however, he wasn’t stopped, losing out on the BBBofC title by unanimous decision in November 2015.

“It’s great to be back out and in a good fight with Jack,” says Ryder. “I had a good win in January against Khomitsky and then a six-rounder in May, so this has come at a good time for me. I had a couple of cuts in the S.K. fight that needed to heal, so it’s no one’s fault that I’ve been out for a bit, but it has made me really hungry for this fight. I might have lost a bit of momentum, but I’ve been training hard and everything is on track.

“Jack called me out on Instagram with a few other names and he’s got his wish now, so let’s see what he’s got. I’m looking forward to it, though. Fighting in his backyard with his fans there, it should be a good atmosphere and I’m expecting a hard fight.

“I’m not looking past Jack at all, but if I can get a good win against him and get out again before Christmas, then I will be at the front of the queue for a big fight at the start of 2017.”

The bout will air live on Sky Sports.

This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.


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