John Ryder: “I Should be Champ!”
When John “The Gorilla” Ryder (28-5, 16 KO’s) went head-to-head with Callum “Mundo” Smith (27-0, 19 KO’s) few gave him shot at winning. Smith was the undefeated WBA super middleweight and WBC diamond champion, as well as the Ring Magazine super middleweight champion.
Not only did many believe the result to be a foregone conclusion, most had shifted the conversation to who Smith would face in his reserved 2020 date at Anfield Stadium.
SMITH’S SOGGY SLUGFEST
Well, all that talk of future dates and dream opponents came to screeching halt when the Smith v Ryder fight really got cooking. The bout began as the general consensus thought that it would. The much longer and taller Mundo fairly easily controlled the distance and pace with his length and jab.
Although while in control, Smith was doing anything but blowing Ryder out the water.
With arrival of the fifth round there was a clear and pronounced shift. From that period on, Ryder was able to effectively and consistently get on the inside of the champ’s defense where he regularly put in some quality work.
Throughout the second half of the bout Ryder’s success continued to magnify. By the twelfth and final period, the champion was busted up, bleeding and appeared to be very tired.
Regardless of who prevailed, it was assumed that the scorecards would be close. After all, Smith dominated the first half and Ryder was the clearly the more effective general throughout the back half.
Sadly this is boxing after all! Where judges frequently concoct scorecards more imaginative than anything that’s ever come out of Jim Henson’s creature shop.
VIOLATED BY THE VERDICT
When the official cards were read, Ryder lost by way of 116-112 twice and 117-111. Audience members groaned at the numbers, but Judge Terry O-Connor’s 117-111 score was particularly horrendous.
Had the Gorilla lost by a point or two it’s very probable that all talks of controversy would have been avoided.
Naturally, the challenger felt he won even before the tally of the judges was unveiled. After hearing how badly he was railroaded the Gorilla definitely believes that the fix was in.
Throughout the social media universe directly after the fight, it was a common theme that in hindsight Ryder stood no chance of winning on the scorecards.
During his post-fight press conference, the challenger expressed his disappointment and belief that he should be champion. Without a doubt, if he could, the Gorilla would force an immediate rematch to determine once and for all who the better man is.
“I just feel like I won,. I feel like I should be sitting here as a winner and champion. I feel quite undone by it.
“Listen, he’s [Callum Smith] the world number one, you know what I mean? And rightly so. He’s beaten the likes of George Groves and Hassan N’Dam but I believe I showed my worth in there tonight and I should be champ.”
Unfortunately for Ryder, it is highly unlikely he will get the swift run back. Team Smith has made it quite clear that they feel they did win and will pursue a big name for their next outing. It’ll be interesting to see what both men do next.
Without question, the losing fighter’s stock just dramatically increased. There is little doubt that he gained more fans and notably more credibility. By the same token, Smith exited the bout looking far more vulnerable than he did entering into it.
No matter how you approach the situation, this is not the performance that Smith wanted to display while openly trying to secure a big name. Now those would-be big name adversaries (David Benavidez, Caleb Plant, Gennady Golovkin or Canelo Alvarez for example) are in a catch-22.
They could fight Smith but it will be said they were cherry picking him directly off the bland, unimpressive points victory. Who wants that noise? Only time will tell how this plays out.
3kingsboxing will stay on top of the next moves of both Smith and Ryder.
“[on making an immediate rematch] Again, difficult, because they’re [Team Smith] going to be looking to take the biggest fight possible and, you need to let the water settle first.
“They feel like they won the fight. John feels like he won the fight. I think a lot of people would like to see it again.
“I thought it was a pretty good fight by the way. But my immediate thoughts are probably speak to the WBA and get John a shot at that other title as soon as possible.”
Eddie Hearn – Matchroom Boxing
By: Bakari Simpson