Callum Smith avoided an upset on Saturday, defeating John Ryder via decision to defend his WBA Super World Super and WBO Diamond Super Middleweight belts at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, UK.
Smith won in his hometown via unanimous decision (117-111, 116-112 and 116-112), with no knockdowns scored by either fighter in the bout.
The fight started slow, with Smith mostly throwing jabs. Ryder was throwing combinations of hooks periodically. Smith got a cut beside his right eyebrow in the fourth round, although it didn’t bother him too much.
Deeper into the fight they got more active. There were many rounds where either fighter winning could be argued.
While Smith’s win in front of his hometown crowd didn’t come off as controversial at the event, dissenting opinions from the scorecards were displayed online.
“Ryder deserved better,” said Mike Coppinger, writer for The Athletic and Boxing Insider.
In the co-main event of the night, James Tennyson defeated Craig Evans with an 11th round TKO win.