An all-British showdown for the WBA super middleweight title is set for Liverpool, England in November.
Matchroom Boxing announced that Callum Smith will defend his world title against interim titleholder John Ryder on November 23. The fight, which was ordered by the WBA in August, will headline a Matchroom Boxing card from the M&S Bank Arena and will be streamed on DAZN.
This will be Smith's second title defense since winning the title September 2018 when he stopped George Groves in Saudi Arabia to also win the World Boxing Super Series tournament. For the remainder of the year and throughout most of the first half of 2019, Smith had been inactive but returned in June at Madison Square Garden. Smith's first title defense saw him easily overwhelm former secondary middleweight titlist Hassan N'Dam to retain the title.
Since that win over N'Dam, Smith would go on to state that he not only wanted a big fight soon as well as a homecoming bout in Liverpool. The fight against Ryder not only gives Smith a title defense back home, but also will make the WBA's super middleweight title situation less crowded. Smith holds the WBA's "Super" title while Canelo Alvarez and Ryder have the WBA's "Regular" and interim belts, respectively. Lennox Allen is also the WBA's Gold champion at 168 pounds.
Ryder won the interim title this past May in Las Vegas with a third-round TKO win over late replacement Bilal Akkawy. Originally, Ryder was supposed to fight former middleweight champion David Lemieux in May, but Lemieux went down with an injury in April and was unable to compete in May.