john ryder, les sherrington, o2, london, january, ,matchroom, anthony joshua, kevin johnson, kevin mitchell, daniel estrada, matchroom, boxing

Joe Thackray

As we look forward to the return of ‘Saint’ George Groves on Saturday night at the Copper Box arena in London, there is another bout on the card which is hard to overlook as the potential fight of the night.

Local lad and fan favourite John Ryder takes on the hard hitting Ukrainian Sergey Khomitsky for the vacant WBA international middleweight title in what is surely a Boom or Bust fight for the Gorilla.

Since losing out on the vacant British middleweight title to Nick Blackwell last May, Ryder has had his hand raised just once since, after a dominant performance against fellow Brit, Adam Jones.

Khomitsky on the other hand, although losing two of his last four contests, has had two very impressive knock out victories in the UK over Adam Etches and Frank Buglioni.

The Belarus based Ukrainian has also been in some lion-hearted encounters with former WBO super middleweight champion, Robert Stieglitz and the 4 time world title challenger, Martin Murray.

Despite Ryder still being relatively young in boxing terms, this is a must win fight.

There is no doubting the potential and talent of the Londoner, He put in a gallant effort in his first attempt to become British champion against the newly crowned WBO champion, Billy Joe Saunders and was clearly up on the scorecards during his second strive at the title before being stopped in round seven by Nick Blackwell.

This is mammoth task for Ryder at this stage in his career. Khomitsky is a seasoned pro and has proven very difficult to look good against but if Ryder is to fulfil his potential and make a real assault on the British and European 160 pound division, he must conquer the man who has developed a bit of a reputation of spoiling the party in the UK.

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