Saturday night at Copper Box Arena in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Hackney Wick, London, England, John Ryder (22-2-, 12 KOs), the 27-year-old southpaw fighting out of Islington, won a unanimous decision over 41-year-old Sergey Khomitsky (30-13-3, 13 KOs), from Minsk, Belarus, by way of Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine, to win the vacant WBA International middleweight title.
The final scores were 117-112, 116-112, and 115-113.
After his TKO loss in May to Nick Blackwell for the BBBofC middleweight title, Ryder badly needed a win. Given the discrepancy in their ages and the fact that Khomitsky had lost three of his last six fights, it was thought that Ryder would have an easy night of it. But a gash over his eye in the second round posed a problem, a problem Ryder overcame by fighting on the outside, holding when necessary, and by more or less playing it safe as well as smart.
Khomitsky likes to see blood, as long as it’s someone else’s, and made his move when the claret started flowing. But at the age of 41 and with the word journeyman trying to attach itself to his name, the Belarusian slowed down just as Ryder’s momentum increased.
Ryder controlled most of the fight, but Khomitsky was always in it and swept the last four rounds. In the end, youth prevailed, as it usually does, and Ryder walked away with the WBA title.
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.