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John Ryder ready to wreck Callum Smith’s dream of Anfield bout

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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John ‘The Gorilla’ Ryder 28-4 (16) says he is ready to wrest the WBA super middleweight title from undefeated champion Callum ‘Mundo’ Smith 26-0 (19) when the pair clash at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England this Saturday night.

Ryder claimed the interim WBA title in his last fight with an impressive third-round stoppage of previously unbeaten Australian power-puncher Bilal Akkawy 20-1-1 (16) back in May.

The 31-year-old southpaw believes victory will put him in the running to face Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 53-1-2 (36).

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“Winning would make me number one in the division and Canelo has proved that he likes to take on the top dogs, so you never know,” Ryder said.

“But Smith is number one 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, 29, has long coveted a world title fight at Anfield, the 55,000-seat outdoor stadium that is home to the Liverpool Football Club.

Ryder, from London, says he is ready to shatter that dream.

“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.”

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