Boxing: Callum Smith vs. John Ryder preview and pick
Callum Smith hopes to keep his WBA super middleweight title and a shot at Saul “Canelo” Alvarez intact as he prepares for a homecoming clash against the well-traveled John Ryder on November 23. It will be high action in the UK, between two top talents, and BetAmerica has the inside scoop for fight night.
Ryder is a prohibitive underdogThough John Ryder is in the best stretch of his career, as he has looked better in his last four fights than he has over the course of his career, he is a prohibitive underdog against the super middleweight division’s best fighter. Ryder’s path to a title shot is less about merit and more about circumstance, with Smith’s handlers opting for a soft touch in a hometown defense for the champ.
Smith is an effective aggressor, who mixes up his attack to the body and head effectively. We’ve seen his power on display in his title-winning performance against George Groves, as well as the other strong performances in the World Boxing Super Series, and while he can tend to telegraph his right hand, he has shown a knack for following through when he does land a big shot.
Ryder needs to smother SmithRyder’s chance to pull off an upset almost exclusively depends on his ability to smother Smith and play a tight defensive game. It isn’t outside the realm of possibility that Ryder can look better than his odds suggest, because Smith could overlook him early on, but Ryder’s window to land a wicked shot or open a bad cut is extremely narrow. If he fails to establish a strong foothold after the first three rounds, that window will be rusted shut, and Smith will pound him out.
Ryder is a good regional talent. We’ve seen him struggle mightily to break out of the local scene and become a bigger fighter, but he has fallen short each time the sport comes around to give him a shot. He’s at least two or three levels below someone of Smith’s class, and it’ll show when the first bell rings.
Don't expect this fight to last longSmith will put on a show for his hometown fans early on, so he’ll take some risks, which will give Ryder his best chance. Once he’s warmed up the crowd, though, expect Smith to switch gears and blast Ryder out with a TKO stoppage inside six rounds.
Pick: Smith (-1775)