December 8, 2014
December 8, 2014
John Ryder (Action Images:John Clifton)

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JOHN RYDER is hoping to fight Jorge Sebastian Heiland, the conqueror of Matt Macklin, on the January 31 bill at the O2.

“I’d love it. He’s ranked very high with the WBC. He’s got a WBC International belt, a belt I’d love. That would make my Christmas if it is that,” Ryder told Boxing News.

“I lost a bit of momentum after the [Billy Joe] Saunders fight with hand injuries. 2014 wasn’t the year that I’d hoped and prayed for, with injuries again. I feel good now. I feel confident in myself so 2015 should be good.”

He watched Saunder’s fight with Chris Eubank Jnr closely. “I thought it was a bad tactic to leave it late against Saunders because, when I boxed Billy Joe and even when Nick Blackwell boxed Billy Joe, he gets them early rounds. He’s got it off to a tee. Wins the first half of a fight, lands loads, then you might claw a bit of your way back into it in the second half. But to rely on the knockout was a bad tactic [for Eubank] because Billy Joe’s got a great will to win. He showed that. He survived a barrage of shots and he came through it.”

Ryder would like a rematch with Saunders. “I don’t feel hard done by. I knew what I had to do on the night and I didn’t do it,” John said. “It was a close fight. It is what it is. It’s boxing. I’d love the opportunity again.”

The Islington middleweight wants to work his way towards a shot at the WBO world title in due course. “I’m well ranked with the WBO,” he noted. “It would be a good fight [against Eubank] but I just feel if we could get a fight like Heiland in January that’ll be the fight where we’re going on to the world stage now. I think if I was to fight Chris Eubank it would be probably for the vacant British title [once Billy Joe moves on to fight for a world title] or a defence of the British title for him or me.

“It’s a fight I’d fancy. I’m in this game to win. I’ve got one blemish on my record and I’d like to put that right. I’m open to all comers.

“People remember the era of Eubank [senior] and Benn. They fought each other a couple of times. Barker, Macklin, Murray, they missed out on that so hopefully this could be another good era of three or four good fighters going at each other. It’s just what stage that happens at.”

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