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John Ryder battles David Morrell on June 26th in Minnesota

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By Barry Holbrook: John Ryder says he’s got a fight brewing against unbeaten WBA ‘regular’ super middleweight champion David Morrell on June 26th on PBC in Minnesota. The fight is still being negotiated, but the #6 WBA Ryder (29-5, 16 KOs) is hoping it gets done soon.

‘The Gorilla’ Ryder, 32, will be fighting for a world title for the second time in taking on the 23-year-old WBA secondary 168-lb champion Morrell.

The talented former Cuban amateur star Morrell has been moved quickly by his management due to his background. Morrell (4-0, 3 KOs) defeated Lennox Allen by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision to win the interim WBA 168-lb title in just his third pro fight.

Morrell highly skilled

It’s hard to believe that Morrell has fought only four times as a pro, as he looks like a professional of over 10 years experience. That’s a product of Morrell’s background in Cuba, fighting the best amateurs with pro-level talent.

Morrell’s four-fight resume:

  • Lennox Allen
  • Mike Gavronski
  • Quinton Rankin
  • Yendris Rodriguez Valdez

“I’m training for June 26th, but you’ve got to take these opportunities when they arise,” said Ryder to Boxing Social. “The latest I’m hearing is it’s on June 26th in Minnesota on PBC show.

“I’m just waiting for it to be confirmed, but hopefully, in the coming days and weeks, we can get it confirmed. And I’m training hard. I’m fully focused on June 26th.

Recently, the World Boxing Association elevated Morrell to their WBA World super middleweight champion status. The WBA’s top champion at 168 is Canelo Alvarez, who holds the ‘Super World’ title.

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It’s going to be a tough fight for Ryder, 5’9: to be taking on a talent like the 6’1″ southpaw Morrell. Ryder will be giving away four inches in height and six inches in reach against Morrell.

For Ryder to win, he’s going to have to try and get inside on Morrell’s long leavers and avoid the withering fire that will be coming his way. Morrell is a well-schooled Cuban fighter who can do it all.

Ryder has a tough task

Some boxing fans rate Morrell above highly hyped Top Rank prospect Edgar Berlanga. You can argue that Morrell’s boxing ability is well above that of Berlanga, who is less refined and more of a banger. Both fighters are the same age at 23, but Morrell looks light years ahead as far as technical skills.

He’s capable of fighting well on the inside and outside and has a nifty uppercut that he throws when he’s crowded. Morrell could prove to be the most difficult fight yet for Ryder, and it’s going to be interesting to see how ‘The Gorilla’ deals with his youth and talent.

In 2019, Ryder lost a controversial 12 round unanimous decision to former WBA super middleweight champion Callum Smith in a fight that many boxing fans felt he deserved to win. The contest took place in Callum’s backyard in Liverpool, England, and clearly, Ryder was up against it as the visiting fighter.

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Many people were upset afterward when the 6’3″ Smith chose not to give Ryder a rematch to clear things up about the questionable decision. Rather than do that, Smith moved on and lost his WBA title in his next fight against Canelo Alvarez in December 2020.

Fighting Morrell figures to be a much more difficult fight for Ryder than facing Callum, who is more of a limited guy. Ryder was able to get the better of the lanky 6’3″ Smith by going to the inside and taking advantage of his lack of ability to fight in close.

It’s more complicated for Ryder to try the same tactics against Morrell since he’s well-equipped to fight on the inside if that’s the game plan.

 




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