Saunders v Ryder – Copper Box Arena Fight Card Preview
By Peter Wells
As British boxing still mourns the loss of Dean Powell, the legendary trainer, manager and matchmaker leaves fans another reminder of his greatness. On Saturday 21st September for the final time boxing is treated to the brilliant match-making of Dean Powell, with several mouth-watering contests to savour at the Copper Box Arena.
To headline the show Billy Joe Saunders returns to the ring swiftly after defeating Gary O’Sullivan two months ago. Saunders risks his own unbeaten record yet again against a fellow undefeated Middleweight as he defends his British title that he won when fighting Nick Blackwell for the vacant crown.
John Ryder may come to the ring with his 100% winning record intact but his opposition on his 15-0(9) record fails to match that of Billy Joe’s 18-0(10) ledger. Ryder though did impressively stop Eamonn O’Kane in 8 rounds last December. Ryder can also take heart from Jazza Dickens performance last Saturday when he stepped up considerably in opposition to fight tooth-and-nail for 10 rounds with Kid Galahad before he was stopped in the 10th.
Saunders’ confidence is on an almighty trajectory having turned away his last few challenges with considerable ease. Matthew Hall, Jarrod Fletcher and Bradley Pryce all brought reputations but none came close to blemishing Saunders’ record.
With a style similar to that of Frankie Gavin (also featured on the undercard), Saunders has boxed his way to victory in fine style. O’Sullivan found it impossible to get through to the slick and fast Saunders who was clearly a level above.
The question remains as to whether Ryder is on Billy Joe’s level? It’s a huge task and it will be intriguing to see what the London fighter can do. It will prove an improbable task to outbox the slippery Billy Joe. While chasing the champion will likely result in the challenger being picked off and maybe even stopped late on, albeit this may also be Ryder’s best shot at victory.
Although on paper this is a great fight, and it is wonderful to see two unbeaten British fighters squaring up for the British title, the pick is for Saunders to dominate throughout, and cruise to a unanimous points victory.
The undercard is also jam-packed with great action, with Derek Chisora 17-4(11) returning to the ring after his surprise victory over Malik Scott. The man of many personalities faces off with former Michael Sprott victim Edmund Gerber 23-1(14). Although the German stopped Sprott in their first encounter the British veteran won the rematch. The pick is for Chisora to just have too much for Gerber in the second half of the contest, winning a close one on points. The fight is for the EBU Heavyweight title.
In another fight of unbeaten boxers Liam Walsh 14-0(10) defends his Commonwealth title against John Murray’s younger brother, Joe Murray 14-0(5). Both have shone thus far in their respective careers but Liam Walsh has sparkled against the highest quality of opposition, last time out he dominated former world champion, Scott Harrison. Although Walsh is the favourite I’ll stick my neck on the line and say this is Murray’s breakout fight. As long as he sticks to a strict plan, Murray can take a close points win.
Frankie Gavin 16-0(12) also looks to keep his world title credentials rolling when defending his British and Commonwealth titles against David Barnes 27-2-2(11). Gavin is coming off the back of a career best performance when dominating and breaking the jaw of Denton Vassell. It wasn’t too long back that Barnes was receiving rave reviews, but since two defeats his name no longer carries the same weight. Still he has enough in his tank to offer Gavin a good challenge but like Saunders, Gavin is just too good a boxer to pick against him. Gavin can dominate and win a wide points decision.
To complete the 12 rounder’s, Paul Butler 12-0(7) looks to continue his recent destructive form when he steps up in class to fight fellow unbeaten Miguel Gonzalez 17-0(5). Butler is the pick to start fast enough to hold onto a close but unanimous decision win.
With plenty more undercard action to enjoy and a mind-boggling line-up, we can rest assured that Dean Powell will be looking down on Saturday admiring his work. From everyone in boxing, thank you Dean, Rest in Peace.
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