JOHN RYDER says he has the ‘fear factor’ ahead of his WBA International middleweight title clash with ‘Brit Basher’ Sergey Khomitsky at the Copper Box Arena in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on January 30, live on Sky Sports.
Ryder is looking to kick 2016 with a big win over the Belarussian banger but the Islington man is fully aware of the threat he carries.
Khomitsky’s last outing in the UK saw him pole-axe talented Sheffield starlet Adam Etches with a brutal one-punch KO in March, and the Copper Box was the scene of his clinical assault on popular Londoner Frank Buglioni in April 2014.
Islington man Ryder is gunning to get back into the exciting mix of young middleweight stars in the UK, but he knows he has to be on his guard against Khomitsky.
“There’s a fear factor for me in this fight, 100 per cent,” said Ryder. “I’m doing things majorly differently to how I’ve approached fights before and that element of fear is in me as I know what Khomitsky is capable of. Take no notice of his age, the last thing to go in a fighter is their power, he’ll have that until the end, so I know that this is a dangerous fight.
“He’s showed power at super-middleweight and then shown that he can make middleweight and keep that power. He takes his opportunities where he can, whether they are at 168lbs or 160lbs, but he’s had plenty of time to prepare for this fight so I expect him to be at his best.
“It was over a year since we were meant to fight and it didn’t happen for one reason or another. But looking back at the mistakes I’ve made since then, and you think if that fight had happened a year ago, it could’ve been a bad night for me, but now I feel that it is a fight that I will definitely win.
“My diet and training has changed a lot since losing to Nick Blackwell. The most important thing in a loss is to learn from it. I don’t want to lose any more fights and I know that I have put in hard work and the right type of work to get the win.”
Ryder’s clash with Khomitsky is part of a huge night of action in east London as Super-Middleweight star George Groves takes on Italian Andrea Di Luisa for the vacant WBC International title.
John Wayne Hibbert defends his Commonwealth and WBC International Super Lightweight titles against Tommy Martin and Martin J. Ward defends his WBC International Super-Featherweight strap against Italian Mario Pisanti.
Former football star Leon McKenzie continues his charge towards titles in the ring in a final eliminator for the English Super-Middleweight title against Kelvin Young and Brentwood’s Kris Agyei-Dua defends his Southern Area Super-Welterweight title against Chadwell Heath’s Ben Hall.
There’s a host of young talents on the bill with Watford Featherweight Reece Bellotti tasting eight-round action for the first time in the paid ranks, action for Brixton’s lightweight banger Ohara Davies, Bermondsey welterweight Ted Cheeseman, Crystal Palace Super-Middleweight Craig Richards, West Ham super-bantamweight Lucien Reid, Wimbledon welterweight Louis Adolphe and Rainham light-heavyweight Charlie Duffield.