John Ryder aiming for Lonsdale belt
John Ryder says he will prove he has come back a better fighter from his agonising defeat against Billy Joe Saunders when he takes on Jez Wilson in a British Middleweight title eliminator this Saturday at the sold-out York Hall, Bethnal Green live on Sky Sports.
Ryder challenged Saunders for the British and Commonwealth titles in September and pushed the Hertfordshire man all the way, narrowly missing out on ripping the belts from Saunders’ possession in his first 12 round bout.
The talented Islington man, who bagged a valuable six-rounds in Liverpool a fortnight ago, admits that he had doubts about going the championship distance for the first time and says the lessons he learned that night mean he is ready to claim the Lonsdale this year.
“If you lose and you learn, it isn’t such a bad thing and I will come back a better fighter,” said Ryder. “I didn’t get hurt and I learnt a lot. There are good things to come from me and I will be better for having had that fight, and I will be better over the distance now.
“It was my first fight over eight rounds and I didn’t think that would be a disadvantage at the time, but in my head, mentally, yes maybe it was. I had been scheduled to box ten rounds twice but had stopped them in eight so now I have done the championship distance it will hold me in good stead in the future.
“I knew what I had to do to win and I didn’t do it. If you don’t do that, you aren’t going to get the win. You live and learn and next time I will.
“We have hourly diets in what we should be eating and what we should be drinking, and I didn’t have that stuff with me. Not that it is any excuse, but I know now I need to bring it to any venue as you never know what time you will be fighting.
“I have learnt bundles from that fight and it will stand me in good stead in the future, mainly from the rounds and what you have to do to win a title.
“I don’t know if the rematch will happen immediately with Billy Joe, but hopefully down the line it could happen for something bigger than a British title. I am focused fully on Jez Wilson in Saturday’s eliminator, and then we will go from there.”
Wilson travels to the capital from Sheffield ready for his first fight in over a year, and Ryder is weary of the 34 year old who he confesses is a bit of a mystery.
“I don’t know a lot about Jez Wilson – there isn’t much of him on YouTube but I have seen his record and who he has boxed,” said Ryder. “It is a good record and it speaks for itself. He has had 13 fights, 11 wins, one loss and one draw. He has been stopped once but you can’t read too much into that, the guy was a bit of a banger and I think he might have just got caught early on, caught a bit cold and maybe tried to have a bit of a tear up with him and come unstuck.”
Ryder’s clash with Wilson comes in between the semi-finals and final of the 33rd edition of the Prizefighter series, as eight Welterweights do battle for the trophy and £32,000 winner’s cheque.
Former European Lightweight champion Jason Cook, unbeaten 20 year old Johnny Coyle, Berkshire’s Mark Douglas and Peckham’s unbeaten Johnny Garton join former British Light Middleweight title challenger Erick Ochieng, Commonwealth Games Gold medallist Paddy Gallagher, Midlands Area champion Sam Eggington and Dubliner Dean Byrne in the hunt for the big prize.
Two more London stars are on display at the home of boxing as Wadi Camacho warms up for his grudge Cruiserweight clash with Stephen Simmons with a four-round contest while talented Light Welterweight Ricky Boylan returns to the ring following a hand injury.
Seamus Macklin: Bradley Saunders is a massive body puncher
Unbeaten light-welter Bradley Saunders scored the 7th stoppage of his nine fight career Saturday night over the tough Scotsman Mitch Prince.
"I wanted to make a statement, and I didn't expect it to go like that to be honest. I was planning on going in there and performing and I did better than Willie (Limond)." said Saunders.
"In the first round when I dropped him I actually didn't expect him to get back up. But when he did I eased off in the second round because I thought I was going to be in for long fight." Said Saunders who put his man away in the fourth round.
Trainer Seamus Macklin (Brother of World challenger Matthew) interjected that "When fighters open up against Bradley, he is simply going to hurt them even more as he will start to get the gaps (in their defence)."
"As he steps up he is going to break opponents down even easier. Because a lot of lower level opponents, when they get hit, they just shut up shop and go into survival mode.
"As soon as Bradley steps up he is going to look even better when he gets the gaps, because Bradley is an absolutely massive body puncher." concluded Seamus.
Interview by @JamesHelder_
LF previews tonight’s “Clash of Clans” bill featuring SIX interviews with Hall, Dickinson and more
World Championship Boxing - Clash of the Clans
Dennis Hobson Promotions & Queensbury Promotions presents Stuart Hall defending his IBF bantamweight world title against Martin Ward at Newcastle's Metro Radio Arena on March 29th.
The exciting undercard for the show includes Birtley's Jon-Lewis Dickinson defending his British cruiserweight title against big-punching Neil Dawson. Also in action will be British and Commonwealth welterweight king Frankie Gavin; Sunderland's English lightweight champion Kirk Goodings against Sheffield's Jamie Sampson; Sedgefield's rising star Bradley Saunders; Sunderland’s Jonson McClumpha versus Dronfield's Lewis Taylor; County Durham's Thomas Patrick Ward; Hartlepool's Michael Hadfield; Middlesbrough’s Simon Vallily; Guisborough's Josh Leather; Doncaster's Dave Allen, and Sunderland's Jordan King.
In the main event, IBF bantamweight champion Stuart Hall makes the first defence of his title against southpaw challenger Martin Ward. The contest is a world first with two North East boxer’s facing each other for a world title in Newcastle.
Hall won the title last December with a tough points win over South African Vusi Malinga. In a 16-2-1 (7) record Hall has only lost to Jamie McDonnell and Lee Haskins and seems in the form of his life at 34.
Ward is the younger man at 26-years-old and brings a respectable 18-2 record though has only four inside-the-distance victories. Aside from an early career defeat, Ward’s only other reverse was to Haskins who stopped him in five last year.
The West Rainton man has rebounded to lift the Commonwealth title and will have trained hard though most are expecting Hall to be way too strong.
An intriguing cruiserweight match pits British champion Jon Lewis Dickinson in with murderous punching Neil Dawson in what should be a lively affair while it lasts.
There no two ways about Dawson; he comes to knock your lights out. Although just 12-2 (5), the 33-year-old Rotherham fighter has made short work of prospects Tony Conquest (now Commonwealth champion) and Chris Keane and looks a genuine threat to Dickinson.
Birtley’s Dickinson has matured into a fine champion though and one more victory will secure him the Lonsdale belt outright. At 14-2 (3), the champion has only lost due to injury and has scarcely dropped even a round in the last three years.
There could be fireworks early but the faster, more skilled champion should pull away from the halfway mark and grind out a late stoppage or clear points decision.
In Welterweight action, undefeated Frankie Gavin takes on Namibia’s Sacky Shikukutu in defence of his Commonwealth title.
While the Birmingham southpaw is a former top-level amateur who has mostly impressed in his 18-0 (12) career, Shikukutu is virtually unknown though is also a southpaw with a similar record at 18-2-1 (12).
An inspection of the visitor’s record sees no presence of any noteworthy names including a victory last time out against a fighter making his pro debut.
Gavin should have far too much quality and finesse for the challenger and pound out a one-sided decision. At 28-years-old he needs bigger tests than this.
Bradley Saunders is expected to sail through his first ten-rounder against Scotland’s Mitch Prince. The 30-year-old Prince is a late sub’ for Irish southpaw Paul McCloskey and is a decent test.
Saunders is less experienced as a pro at 8-0 (6) compared to Prince’s 16-bout career but is a quality operator who should prevail well-inside the distance to hand Prince his first stoppage defeat.
Kirk Goodings defends his English belt against local rival Gary Fox on the bill. The 10-1 (2) Sunderland prospect has returned well from his lone defeat to Stevie Williams and should win a clear points verdict.
Livefight has interviewed many stars of the show this week as listed below…
J L Dickinson Interview
Kirk Goodings Interview
Stuart Hall Interview
Neil Dawson Interview
Lewis Taylor Interview
Bradley Saunders Interview
The show will be televised by BoxNation. Sky channel 437 and in HD on channel 490.
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Saunders primed for Prince; dares McCloskey to reschedule aborted fight
By Michael J Jones
Tonight in Newcastle boxing stars of the North East are show-cased in Dennis Hobson’s “Clash of Clans” bill. Behind headliners including IBF bantamweight champion Stuart Hall’s first world title defence and British ruler Jon Lewis Dickinson will be the latest outing of Sedgefield prospect Bradley Saunders.
The former outstanding amateur is currently 8-0 (6) in the paid code and is looking to make a big impact in the light-welterweight ranks this year. The County Durham puncher has impressed hugely so far in his first two years as a pro dispatching several tough opponents with clinical ease.
Facing Saunders tonight will be Scotland’s tough Mitch Prince. The two will box over ten rounds in a none-title bout marking the first time Saunders will potentially have been past eight rounds. Prince is a late replacement for Irishman Paul McCloskey who pulled out last week with a knee injury. Prince, originally from South Africa, has a decent 12-2-2 (1) record and has boxed for the Commonwealth title as well as winning a Masters belt on two occasions.
Saunders though seems something special and many are already tipping him as a future world champion. The 28-year-old, promoted by Frank Warren, has been training hard at the MGM gym in Marbella, Spain under coaches Seamus Macklin (brother of Matthew) and Danny Vaughn and has made no secret recently of feeling the division’s big guns are already avoiding him.
Livefight caught up with Bradley just after yesterday’s weigh-in for a quick chat-
LF) So, did you make weight ok today?
BS) That is honestly the best I’ve ever made weight. It shows just what difference a proper training camp can do because even going back to the amateurs that’s the easiest making light-welterweight has ever been for me. The weight limit was 10st 1lb and I came in at just over 139lbs and that was after eating a cereal bar this morning so I really didn’t push the weight too much. I could have lost more if I’d needed to.
LF) Your opponent for tomorrow’s show is Mitch Prince who seems a decent test?
BS) Yes I think it’s almost definitely my toughest opponent to date. He’s had 16 fights and I give him credit because he’s coming to win. He’s not some journeyman he’s got his own ambitions and is confident but it’s up to me to put a stop to those ambitions.
LF) He has never been stopped and has gone the distance with Willie Limond is an inside victory a goal for you?
BS) No I don’t look to knock someone out I’d never do that but obviously if I see him open to certain punches that are hurting him or he starts to tire then I’m going to try and finish him off. The shape I’m in I’m fit for twenty rounds so either way I’m ready.
LF) I read recently that you feel some of the higher ranking fighters at your weight are avoiding you?
BS) I just think it’s sensible for some of the (higher ranking fighters) to avoid me. I’m a tough night for anyone right now and can bang so if a guy can pick an easier fight and keep winning then it’s understandable.
Paul McCloskey pulled out against me but we’ll see if that injury was genuine when we try and reschedule. I personally think it was nonsense and he wasn’t actually injured. If he agrees to fight me next then we’ll know.
LF) A writer is meant to sit on the fence but I think you could beat British champion Curtis Woodhouse right now; is that a fight you’ll be chasing this year?
BS) Thank you. I think all UK boxers want to win a British title. I won the British as an amateur but it’s only recently as I’ve grown up and matured as a fighter that I’ve really wanted to box for the British title. I doubt he wants to defend against me but I’ll hopefully be the mandatory contender soon so I can get my chance.
LF) You are a part of the biggest boxing show in the North East for many years and I hear you’ve sold a thousand tickets. That’s pretty impressive?
BS) I just can’t thank the North East boxing fans enough. I’ve been training at the MGM gym in Spain and left the ticket sales to my mam Tracy and my website so I didn’t know how many tickets had been sold. To sit at the press conference and hear I’ve sold a thousand tickets was unbelievable. I can’t thank the fans and my team enough I really can’t.
LF) There’s many good fights involving local fighters tomorrow do you think it’ll be a North East whitewash on the night?
BS) You know it’s just great we are all on the same bill on a show like this. I firmly believe the North East is one of the best boxing regions in Britain and it’s about time we all stuck together to show what we can do. I hope there’ll be more shows like this in the very near future.
LF) Thanks for your time Bradley.
BS) Ok thank you.
Footnote: Bradley’s mum Tracy is an ABA official and has been judging amateur fights for two years as well as helping promote her talented son. The Sedgefield prospect’s father is also in the fight game as head coach at South Durham ABC (who Bradley used to box for).
Prediction: Mitch Prince is known as the “Prince of Passion” but Saunders may prove to be the “Prince of Pain” tonight. Prince has been down a few times in his career and has never fought a heavy-handed type of boxer like Saunders who is also technically sound and has a big advantage in height and reach. Bradley, roared on by the home crowd, can win inside of five rounds.
You follow Bradley on Twitter @bradsaunders86
Stuart Hall-Martin Ward IBF world Bantamweight title fight will be live and exclusive on Box Nation tonight with chief support from Jon Lewis Dickinson vs Neil Dawson, Frankie Gavin, Bradley Saunders and Kirk Goodings.
Footage begins at 7pm Sky channel 437 and 490 for HD viewers.
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Today's press conference ahead of Dennis Hobson's Hall vs Ward IBF title fight this weekend, courtesy of iFLTV: