Callum Smith W12 John Ryder ... Callum Smith successfully defended WBA 168-pound super championship for a second time with a hard-fought victory in his homecoming fight. The scores were 116-112 (twice) and 117-111 but Smith (pictured) was pushed all the way by mandatory challenger John Ryder [to the point where many called the decision a robbery. The headline in the UK Express read "Boxing fans rage over Callum Smith vs John Ryder decision"]. Smith put his lackluster performance down to a lack of fear of Ryder, who was a massive [25-1] underdog heading into the fight, giving away both height and reach. “I want the best names in the division and I’m not disrespecting John Ryder but there was no fear tonight,” Smith told Sky Sports afterwards.
“I didn’t believe John Ryder was good enough to beat me. There are fighters that I believe are good enough to beat me that don’t perform and that’s going to bring out the best in me. That’s what I want, I want the big names. I just want a big name, where if I turn up like tonight I’ll lose. That fear brings out the best performance in me, I feel I need that.”
“I thought that was harsh,” said Ryder. “I thought I forced the fight, he was just nicking rounds, if that. I thought I done enough to win that. “I’ve lost for the British title three times, I’ve come back and fought for a world title against the world No 1. I think I’ve done more than enough to show I’m credible for this and I will come again.”source: matchroom