Callum Smith sends warning to John Ryder ahead of world title defence

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WBA super middleweight champion Callum ‘Mundo’ Smith 26-0 (19) has warned challenger John ‘Gorilla’ Ryder 28-4 (16) that he is not looking past him ahead of their clash at the Echo Arena in Liverpool this Saturday night.

The 29-year-old champion has been linked to a stadium fight at Anfield next year, the home of the Liverpool Football Club that seats 55,000 people.

“There’s talk of a massive 2020, but none of that happens if I lose at the weekend,” Smith said.

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“I’ve been in this game long enough to know I can’t take my eye off the ball. I’ve had a very good camp, I’ve trained just as well or hard as I’ve ever done before.

“If that’s what he’s banking on then he’s in for a big shock… the best version of me beats any version of him.”

Southpaw Ryder, 31, insists he is not relying on Smith overlooking him.

“Listen, if you buy a lottery ticket, you consider what you’re going to do with the winnings. You haven’t even won it yet,” said Ryder, who is coming off a third-round knockout win over previously undefeated Australian power-puncher Bilal Akkawy in May.

“But I get it, he’s the champion, he’s the number one. There’s these big options out there for him after, but they say they’re not overlooking me.

“I’ve trained as the underdog and I will go in there and put on a performance on Saturday night.”

Smith will be making the second defence of the WBA championship he won against George Groves by stoppage in the final of the World Boxing Super Series in September last year.

In his first title defence, Smith halted Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam in three rounds at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden in June on the undercard of Anthony Joshua versus Andy Ruiz Jr.

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