They say things come in three’s.
After a nightmare 12 months of injury and a career first defeat for John “The Gorilla” Ryder; redemption is on the horizon.
Last weekend he became a father to a beautiful yet unnamed daughter and his career defining fight against Sergey “The Ghost” Khomistky was announced.
To complete the hat-trick would be an explosive performance against the Belarusian war-horse putting him firmly on the map. Listening to the belief and conviction in his voice; only a fool would bet against him.
John, big card, big fight for yourself. I was looking at Khomistky’s record earlier; he’s been in with (Gennady) Golovkin, (Martin) Murray twice, lost a few months ago to (Robert) Stieglitz. We often hear the term career-defining fight but what does this one in particular mean to you?
Yeah, firstly Gennady Golovkin is an ideal of mine, watching it and seeing Golovkin beat him was great. I’d like to put on a similar performance. I’m not going to let that overrule my head.
I’m just going to go in there with a good mindset and box, if I have to outbox him all night then I’ll do it. I’m in there to win this fight, I’m not in there to take shots to give shots. I’m in there to look good and do a good job.
You and I have spoken recently about him coming down from 168lbs to 160lbs for this fight. Do you think that plays in to your hands as you are natural at that weight, or do you not think it’s going to make a massive difference?
Who knows, I don’t know what kind of notice he’s had for Super-Middleweight fights before.
He’s 39 now you don’t know, as he’s getting on a bit he might struggle at the weight, we’ll soon see as I’ll test him early on! See how he copes, I’ll be able to tell by looking at him if he’s struggled or not, we’ll play it by ear.
Have you see many of his fights, he lost to Stieglitz most recently?
I’ve seen short clips of it. He throws shots and can be dangerous, I need to look out for his big left hook, his right hand.
I’m just looking forward to it. It is a career-defining fight and what a night it’s going to be. I’ve known Anthony Joshua for years now from the amateur days and to be co-featuring with him and (Lee) Selby at the O2 in my home-town is amazing.
It’s been a great week for me so far, my little girl has been born, the title fight got announced and I’m over-the-moon I’m riding a wave of success. I’m buzzing, I’ve got a new found motivation with my little girl so I’m going to win this for her and create a better life for her in the future.
In terms of rankings with this fight, it’s for the WBA International title. Golovkin is the Super Champion, the Regular is Danny Jacobs. A win will move you closer to the top 10.
I’m not 100% sure how that bit would work actually. If Jacobs’ was making a voluntary he could pick me out straight away. The plan is to get in the top 15, pick a couple of fights, then progress and continue to progress, see where it takes us.
It might seem far-fetched now, you spoke about Golovkin being an idol of yours, what would it mean to one day share the ring with him?
It would be amazing. I’m not at a stage of my career where I’m taking fights for a big pay-day.
Listen, in the future on my right-day and my right mindset I truly believe I can beat Golovkin. People might laugh and say that’s deluded, but that’s a fighter’s mentality.
He’s getting on a bit but he’s youthful and hasn’t been in a hard fight yet. I’m a fighter and believe I can beat anyone.
I remember us both being at York Hall last month and I could sense you had “itchy hands” watching. I get the impression that you aren’t a good spectator of boxing and just want to be in there yourself.
Especially having had such a long time out of the ring, I’ve always been a terrible spectator watching. I just want to be in there.
John, finally before you shoot off for sparring, Eddie (Hearn) mentioned in the press conference that Tony (Sims) had thrown a few names at him of who you wanted to fight, are you happy to mention them now?
They were said a bit “tongue-in-cheek” to let Eddie know we were serious at moving up to this level.
I said to Tony: “Alfred Angulo has moved up to Middleweight Tone, why don’t you get Eddie to call him out?!”
We threw out Brian Vera who’d just been beat. We looked at and wanted a top 10 world opponent.
John thanks for your time and we’ll speak soon no doubt.
Cheers mate, see you soon.