@_John_Ryder_ Exclusive Interview by Paul Ready


Elite Boxing:

John, firstly thanks for your time. Just watched you sparring two different guys this morning, you look in great shape. 

Last time we saw you in action was your impressive KO of Billi Godoy in January.

Have you watched the fight back since and what did you make of your performance?

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John Ryder:

I’ve got it taped on my Sky box at home and I’ve watched it to round three so far.

Do you know what it was a bit one paced, slow and monotonous. I think I started good 1st round, 2nd round I went out I caught him with a good left hand and he seemed to change tactics – adapted and went on the back-foot. 

That took me out of my comfort zone a bit as I like to box a bit and fight on the back-foot – but that’s something to work on. I will watch it in time and right the wrongs.



I think it was a difficult opponent to prepare for as not to sound like a broken record – it was another late change of opponent for you.

I suspect you had a slightly disruptive camp as a consequence, but let’s to dwell on that – you went out there and got the win.

Godoy was tough, he was a spoiler and had no interest in attempting to engage with you. Despite all of that you did knock him out and I think you should get credit for that.



Yeah definitely. I’d be doing a lot of research on Les Sherrington on the lead up to the fight – then Tony (Sims) text me and told me Billi Godoy was now the opponent. I then looked at him and thought it would be a good match – in the previous fights I’ve seen he was non-stop punching and moving forward – which is perfect for me.

But like I say I caught him in the 2nd with a good shot, he closed up and retreated which was frustrating.

In the end the outcome was a good one and I got the win.



I know you said you haven’t watched the fight back yet – but a sentiment shared by a lot of people is that you received some unfair criticism post-fight on social network and from some of the media.

I’m sure you are your own worst critic but what is your response to that and is there anything you’d like to get off your chest about it?



Not really. Listen – people are always going to criticise, if I do something fantastic there will be knockers.

I think certain criticism was a bit harsh at the time. There was a lot read in to the criticism from Glenn McCroy (Skysports) but Glenn sent me a message the day after and explained – he has my best interests at heart.

Glenn wants me to do well and he knows what I’m capable of, it might not have come across well but you’ve got to respect the man. He was fighting for titles when I was a kid – he’s been around the game for a while so you’ve got to respect his opinion.



In terms of yourself and your future plans. You are expected to be out within the next 2 months – any news on who?



Potentially I was told April 25th at O2, but now with the DeGale purse bids being won elsewhere – I don’t know if that show will go on or not.

I’ve been training a good few weeks now and I feel I already have a good level of fitness. I want to continue to build on that & get my weight down gradually – so I will be ready whenever it comes.



You’ve recently comeback from Fuerteventura where you were there for ten days sparring with IBF Welterweight Champion Kell Brook.

Tell me how that experience was for you?



It was fantastic. I’d sparred Kell two years ago before he was due to fight Devon Alexander and he was different this time – you can see the champ’s mentality taking over.

He was different gravy – much more spite in his punches. Kell wanted to hurt me and take my head off!

He didn’t take my head off though or manage to knock me out – but he tried and fair play to him!

There are a lot of fighters that don’t try to take your head off and take their foot of the gas – he doesn’t and he is high intensity.

That’s where you learn the trade. Kell is a fantastic puncher and so natural. Certain things he done I asked him to try pick his brains and he just replies:

“I don’t know how I do it – it’s just natural!” 

What a talent.



You sparred Andy Lee WBO Middleweight world champion end of last year and now Kell.

Surely you must reflect on those two experiences where you held your own and say “I’m not too far away from that level?!”



Yeah there’s a difference between holding my own and wanting to push on – I’ve still got a way to go.

I think that the way to go isn’t in my ability – it’s in my mindset and belief, if there is anything I lack maybe it’s a lack of self-belief.

That’s something to work on and adapt and just keep trying.



John finally if we look at 2015 for you – where would you like to be in December and what are your aspirations?



It would be lovely to be on the verge of a world title – be it the WBO or another governing body. If I keep winning it’s not something out of my reach.

I think it’s a realistic goal so I’m going to keep working towards that.






@_John_Ryder_ interview by Paul Ready #CapitalPunishment


Elite Boxing:

John – 2015: The Year of The Gorilla. Shit gets real.

With the possibility of Heiland as an opponent,  are you at the point where you don’t care who you get as long as it’s top 10 in a governing body?


John Ryder:

Let’s have it. Gennady Golovkin, Miguel Cotto – who ever wants it!

No, Jorge Sebastian Heiland – I love that as he’s got a great ranking with the WBC and the WBC International belt I’d love to have one of them.



What did you make of his fight against Matthew Macklin recently – was it a surprise to you how it went or did you half expect that performance?



No I didn’t. I thought Macklin was going to blow him out of the water. A lot of people were surprised – even the bookies were surprised and they don’t often get it wrong do they?

It is what it is. Who knows – maybe Macklin was at the end of his career and for Heiland it was the right time. It’s boxing, it takes one punch.

Although I felt Macklin was getting outboxed a bit, he caught and didn’t really recover.



You and I spoke recently about your sparring in France with Andy Lee. Experience wise how was that for you and did it strengthen your belief that you can mix it at world level even more?



Definitely. We had good spars, Andy is very technical and a good boxer. I don’t believe people appreciate just how good he is.


He has the Kronk DNA in him…


Exactly. He was under the watchful eye of Emanuel Steward for years and now Adam Booth. I know that Adam is a great tactician in fights so that is one thing he has in abundance.

He is in a good fight but for me I’m top ten in WBO – in 8 mths that is where I want to be fighting for a world title. It doesn’t have to be Vegas but it would be nice!



So route wise for yourself I know you have the WBO International now and if Heiland comes over you will turn your attentions to the WBC rankings.

For you whatever is the shortest route to a world title you will take?



Yeah I don’t really care which route. I’d like as many belts as I can on my mantle-piece. Whatever route pans out best for us. We are in a position where we can dip our toes in and mix it up a bit.

Fingers crossed we can get Heiland who is ranked at what number 3 I believe. That is a great ranking.



I know the past few months have been frustrating for you. How did you rate Nick Blackwell’s performance against Sergey Khomitsky?



Do you know what I thought Nick Blackwell was battering him, if it had gone any longer I think he would have stopped him.

Listen, this is how it goes in the fight game – things get changed at the last-minute and we have to do what we do.

It was frustrating to watch as the week before I should have been in there myself with Khomistky.



With Billy Joe Saunders now mandatory for WBO after the weekend. For you it’s been head down focusing on what you are doing in training.

Tell me how it has been for you watching these guys around you making moves recently?



I’ve experienced a big night when I fought Saunders – that was a big occasion for me so it has been a shame recently. Been hard with there not being a big occasion for me but come January 31st there will be one – which I’m looking forward to.

They are going about their business and I’m going about mine.



Eubank Jr got beat the weekend is he someone maybe not straight away but a fight you can see further down the line?



Yeah I feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place as I’ve got the WBO ranking and the British title will come available.

What do I do – do I take a step back to fight for the British with the aim to win that outright which is four defences which could cost me 2 yrs and I’m 28/29 or do I keep taking steps forward in world rankings?

That is what I need to sit down with Tony and Eddie to talk about.

I feel that if Eddie makes the Heiland fight that decision is made.



Final thing John with Christmas coming up as a boxer with you eating well and the first one with your daughter, have you got much planned?



Nothing much planned, training every day really – hopefully I’ll get Christmas Day off.

To be fair she’s only a baby so she won’t know what it is this year. Next Christmas I hopefully will be off when she does.



John – best of luck with the training mate and no doubt we will catch up soon.



Nice one Paul, speak soon.







Cotto, Lee, Butler & Schaefer… By Paul Ready


Only one place to start in an action packed week in boxing is Madison Square Garden on Saturday evening.

Miguel Cotto created history by becoming the first Puerto Rican boxer ever to win 4 world titles in 4 different weigh-classes.

It was a masterclass performance from the 33 yr old, rejuvenated since linking up with Hall of Fame coach Freddie Roach at the fabled Wild Card Gym.

This was the best I’ve seen of Cotto for years, he was sensational. He floored Sergio “Maravila” Martinez 3-times in the first round and proceeded to batter him for 9 rounds before the Argentinian’s corner pulled him out at the start of the 10th.

I want to take nothing away from Cotto, I believe if Martinez would not have had the mobility issues with his damaged knees, he would have needed to box out of his skin to beat the Puerto Rican.

Like a carnivore stalking its next meal in the concrete jungle of New York, Cotto smelt blood and could see his prey was weak, limping around the ring as he circled Maravila waiting to pounce.

It felt like I was watching a nature programme, all that was absent was David Attenborough narrating it.

“I just followed the strategy,” Cotto said. “I got him good in the first round, so, I was confident. He got up after three knockdowns, but we kept calm . . . I was a little surprised, but I went in with a strategy, and that’s what worked. Three knockdowns was not the end of the fight.”

Martinez will no doubt retire as I believe at the age of 39, he will struggle to come back and box with no mobility in his legs.

For Cotto, he can pick whoever he wants to fight now at 154-160lbs. Personally, with the reconciliation between Oscar De La Hoya & Bob Arum, a fight in Autumn with Saul Canelo Alvarez really whets the appetite.

I would love to see Cotto also pit his wits against Gennady Golovkin, it would be fascinating to see GGG under the pressure that Cotto would apply, the trademark left hook of Cotto is back and would trouble anyone at 160lbs below.


Andy Lee scored a stunning KO against John Jackson on the undercard in Madison Square Garden to win the NABF Light-Middleweight title.

Irishman Lee, who celebrates his 30th birthday this week gave himself the best possible gift with a career best stoppage in the 5th round.

The 29 yr old displayed some huge grit to climb off the floor in the 1st round and stop Jackson who was a few rounds ahead on most scorecards.

In his maiden outing at 154lbs, Lee absorbed a barrage of punches on the ropes from Jackson and then unleashed a giant hook-uppercut that stopped the fight before the Virgin Islander hit the deck.

Andy Lee will fight in Denmark for the first time next month


“A big thank you to the boxing [Adam] Booth team. On we go, boys. Thank you to Lou Dibella and HBO Boxing. What a night. It will live with me forever”


In the UK we saw the crowning of a new world champion in Newcastle with Paul Butler becoming the IBF bantamweight champion by defeating Stuart Hall on points.

In an exciting fight, Butler won on a split decision.

Age and speed proved to be a decisive factor with the 25 yr old beating the Hall on exchanges, despite a late rally from the 34 yr old from Darlington.


The biggest news in the world of boxing came Stateside with Richard Schaefer resigning as CEO of Goldenboy Promotions with immediate effect.

The resignation isn’t a surprise to those studying the story with a well documented fallout with owner Oscar De La Hoya.

Schaefer has been single-handily running GB while De La Hoya has taken time-out addressing various problems in his personal life.

De La Hoya has now overcome these issues and wants to reassert his position within the company.

The biggest problem he faces is what fighters are actually aligned to GoldenBoy as powerful advisor Al Haymon represents the lions-share of fighters in the stable.

With Schaefer now departed, Golden Goose Floyd Mayweather Jnr has already announced via his CEO Leonard Ellerbe that he will no longer fight on GoldenBoy shows without Schaefer.

What is Schaefer’s next move?

The smart money is on a link-up with Haymon/Mayweather perhaps as a hybrid promoter thus creating a vacuum effect of fighters no longer competing with Goldenboy.

Fighters such as Adrien Broner, Marcos Maidana, Keith Thurman, Paulie Malignaggi, Adonis Stevenson, Deontay Wilder to name a few don’t have contracts with Goldenboy which truly leaves them up shit creak without a paddle.

Amir Khan for example is represented by Haymon, but do I believe have one more fight with GoldenBoy but then he is free to be promoted solely by Haymon.

Fascinating turn of events with De La Hoya now on good terms with Top Rank head-honco Bob Arum.

Canelo Alvarez is the biggest star of GoldenBoy and has already come-out this week to publicly back his native Mexican & sworn loyalty to him.

No idea how this will turn out but watch this space as things will certainly get fogger on the boxing landscape before we have any true clarity.





Limerick Lee’s limelight… by Paul Ready


Middleweight Andy Lee is one of two (alongside Amir Khan) British/Irish boxers who arguably have a bigger profile Stateside than in the UK.

For me he is one the most under-rated fighters based on these shores.

Larry Merchant of HBO once described Lee as “looking like 10 million dollars” in the ring.


Sporting a (31-2: 22 KO’s) record the 29 yr old has boxed the lions share of his career in America having relocated there in the mid-2000’s to work with Hall of Fame trainer Emmanuel Steward at the fabled Kronk gym, Detroit.

Lee displays a CV that most boxers would be proud of, but until now the one thing has alluded him; a world title.

The Irishman was due to face 160lb monster Gennady “GGG” Golvokin on April 26th in New York for the WBA title.
This was cancelled due to the passing of Golovkin’s father and as of yet this hasn’t been rescheduled with GGG understandably taking some time out to be with his family.

Since the defeat to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in 2012, rangey southpaw Lee has been on a 3 fight unbeaten streak with the last outing being on the Froch Groves undercard in November last year.

This Saturday he faces Frenchman Frank Haroche in Esbjerg Denmark on a Sauerland Brothers show.

Lee is also scheduled to fight in Cardiff on 17th May against a yet unnamed opponent.

Trainer Adam Booth has spoke of Lee being a more natural Light-Middleweight and the probability of the Macklin fight to IFLTV recently:

Should Lee fight at that weight, there are some huge match-ups on the horizon and a genuine chance to secure a well deserved world title.

To rattle off some potential opposition for the Irishman at 154lbs look no further than; Canelo Alvarez, Erislandy Lara, Austin Trout, Miguel Cotto (should he come back down after the Sergio Martinez fight) Demetrius Andrade and of course Floyd Mayweather Jnr who holds the WBC Light-Middleweight title.

Not to mention Englishman Brian Rose who faces Andrade in the summer of the WBO Light-Middle title.

The much debated all Irish affair with Matthew Macklin is still a strong possibility and one I would love to see.

The time is nearly here for Lee to show the world and especially the UK what he is truly made of.