Ryder gets past Etches. Reignites career
When ITV announced the stronger than expected undercard for tonight PPV event fight that grabbed the majority of hardcore attention was John 'The Gorilla' Ryder's crossroad clash with Adam 'The Bomber' Etches.
Ryder, 166 1/2lbs, has frustrated recently but it is impossible to shake the feeling that the strong southpaw has more to offer than he has shown so far. Etches, 167 1/2lbs, is an undoubtedly hard puncher but was knocked out in his one and only step up in class. The solid Siahei Khamitski taking him out back in 2015.
Sheffield's Etches - acutely aware of the importance of tonights fight - reigned in his aggressive style and started in a controlled manner, unwilling to give Ryder any unearned openings. For his part, the composed Ryder sought to land his southpaw left but had more success with his dangerous right hook.
The man from Islington began to find his mark in the second round and ramped up the pressure in the third. His superior punch picking and accuracy making the difference as Etches followed every punch he threw directly into Ryder's wheelhouse. The fifth round was an ordeal for Etches but to his credit, he gritted his teeth and walked directly back into the storm.
Although he was still doing enough to maintain a lead on the cards, Ryder's output slowed during the middle rounds causing his trainer Tony Simms to plead for more aggressiveness and work against his tiring opponent. Ryder took the advice and poured the pressure on in the tenth. Etches - busted up and distressed - simply couldn't avoid Ryder's short uppercuts and hooks. It was a survival mission for the brave Etches, 20-2 (17 KO's), and he deserves endless credit for hearing the final bell. Ryder ran out an impressive and clear winner.
The official scores were 117-111, 116-112 and 118-109.
Ryder, 24-3 (12 KO's), picked up the IBF International super middleweight title and looked better than he has in a long time. There is a log jam at the top of the British super middleweight division and he will have his work cut out in a tempting to secure that elusive British title but at least he once again has a solid foothold.