Blackwell stops Ryder – crowned new British middleweight champion

30th May 2015
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Trowbridge’s Nick Blackwell defeated Londoner John Ryder via seventh round stoppage this evening at the O2 Arena to lift the vacant British middleweight championship.

The talented 24-year-old was slow off the mark in the early going – losing all three of the opening rounds – but came on strong after the third and eventually broke Ryder up and forced the stoppage at 2.36 of round seven.

In a fight mostly fought at close quarters, Blackwell relied on his superior work-rate and fitness to get the job done and so it proved. Southpaw Ryder, the slicker of the two, operated primarily on the back-foot for much of the fight, leading Blackwell on and catching him with counters, but Blackwell adjusted in the fourth round and began to get more of a foothold in the contest. His best round, the fifth, was a sign of things to come; Blackwell moving Ryder around, digging him hard to the body and making his strength tell.

Despite this shift in momentum, Ryder enjoyed a good sixth round and seemed to switch his own tactics ever so slightly. He pushed forward more, fought fire with fire and attempted to shove Blackwell back against the ropes.

This success was short-lived, however. Blackwell, midway through round seven, opened up on Ryder with a series of right hands at close range and, in an instant, the Londoner’s sense were scrambled, his legs turned to lead and he seemed all but inoperative. Unable to fire back, unable to even so much as protect himself, Ryder was essentially a sitting duck, leaving referee Howard Foster no option but to wave off the bout and declare Blackwell the winner and the new British middleweight champion.

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