Parker vs Ryder Weigh-In!
(November 25th) We bring you live coverage of the weigh-in between Zach Parker and John Ryder as they prepare to fight for the WBO Interim Super-Middleweight Title at The O2 this Saturday.
Hamzah Sheeraz, Dennis McCann, Sam Noakes, Pierce O'Leary, Tommy Fletcher and more are also take to the scales.
WBO Interim World Super-Middleweight Championship
12 x 3 Minute Rounds @168lbs
Zach Parker 167.3lbs
John Ryder 167lbs
WBC Silver & vacant Commonwealth Middleweight Championships
12 x 3 Minute Rounds @160lbs
Hamzah Sheeraz 159.3lbs
River Wilson-Bent 159.7lbs
WBC International Silver & vacant Commonwealth Lightweight Championships
12 x 3 Minute Rounds @135lbs
Sam Noakes 134.6lbs
Calvin McCord 135lbs
Vacant Commonwealth Super-Bantamweight Championship
12 x 3 Minute Rounds @122lbs
Dennis McCann 121.4lbs
Joe Ham 121.5lbs.
Vacant WBC International Super-Lightweight contest
10 x 3 Minute Rounds @140lbs
Pierce O’Leary 139.5lbs
Emmanuel Mungandjela 139.9lbs
4 x 3 Minute Rounds International Cruiserweight contest
Tommy Fletcher 201lbs
Jiri Krejci 197.6lbs
6 x 3 Minute Rounds International Super-Lightweight contest
Sonny Liston Ali 145.9lbs
Georgi Velichkov 144lbs
Parker-Ryder and undercard contests will stream live and exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+ starting at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.
Tickets for Zach Parker vs John Ryder for the WBO Interim Super-Middleweight Championship at The O2 go on general sale at noon on Wednesday, 26 October from axs.com.
Fans are encouraged to sign-up for Ticket Alerts at frankwarren.com to receive the direct ticket link when tickets go on sale!
Zach Parker vs John Ryder for the WBO Interim world super middleweight championship headlines a huge bill at the 02 Arena on November 26, live on BT Sport.
Saturday: Zach Parker-John Ryder
Super Middleweight Showdown To Stream
LIVE On ESPN+ Coverage From The O2 In London
Begins At 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT!
(November 24th) Super middleweight contenders Zach Parker and John Ryder will collide in a 12-round main event for the WBO Interim world title this Saturday, Nov. 26, at The O2 in London. This high-stakes showdown pits two of the UK’s top fighters, with the winner in pole position to earn a super fight in 2023.
Parker (22-0, 16 KOs) is a former British super middleweight champion who has been waiting patiently for a signature fight. He was supposed to fight Demetrius Andrade, but the American standout pulled out of a proposed May date with an injury and then declined the fight following a purse bid in September. The out-of-the-ring drama has sidelined Parker for more than a year, as he hasn’t fought since last November’s fourth-round stoppage over Marcus Morrison. Parker has knocked out five straight foes since winning the British title over Darryll Williams via split decision in November 2018. Ryder (31-5, 17 KOs), from London, has won three bouts since a highly controversial decision loss to Callum Smith for the WBA super middleweight world title. He is coming off an upset split decision win over former middleweight world champion Danny Jacobs in February.
In other streaming action on ESPN+:
Hamzah Sheeraz (16-0, 12 KOs) vs. River Wilson-Bent (13-1-1, 6 KOs), 12 Rounds, Sheeraz’s WBC Silver & Vacant Commonwealth Middleweight Titles
Dennis McCann (13-0, 7 KOs) vs. Joe Ham (17-3, 6 KOs), 12 Rounds, Vacant Commonwealth Junior Featherweight Title
Sam Noakes (9-0, 9 KOs) vs. Calvin McCord (12-0, 2 KOs), 12 Rounds, Noakes' WBC International Silver & Vacant Commonwealth Lightweight Titles
Pierce O’Leary (10-0, 6 KOs) vs. Emmanuel Mungandjela (16-3-1, 7 KOs), 10 Rounds, Vacant WBC International Super Lightweight title.
Ryder Reveals Middleweight Pain!
(November 18th) John Ryder has revealed the horrors he experienced in continuing his attempt to become successful as a middleweight fighter before ultimately rejuvenating his career at super middleweight.
Ryder takes on Zach Parker for the WBO Interim world super middleweight title at The O2 on November 26 in a highly-anticipated domestic clash, live on BT Sport, where the winner will either fight Canelo Alvarez for the full title or be elevated to champion.
Currently a picture of health and happiness, Ryder is readying himself to go to war with the unbeaten Queensberry man Parker, but it was a different story down at middleweight, where the principal battle was against the scales.
It was in his 2015 British title challenge against Nick Blackwell that Ryder began to realise that toiling down to 160lbs was having a detrimental effect on his fistic fortunes.
“It just wasn’t there to happen for me anymore, I’d get to 11st 10lbs and then it was just pure dehydration,” explained Ryder to Dev Sahni in a compelling episode of the Unibet Lowdown. “I can’t sit in a sauna even fully hydrated, not my cup of tea, so it was just working hard to get weight off, skipping, running… Moving up to super middleweight was the best thing I’ve ever done.
“The Nick Blackwell fight was the first where I really struggled. I’d been in America and had a bit of jetlag and I probably wasn’t professional enough to say to Tony (trainer, Sims) about training a little bit later. I paid the price for it.”
Ryder went on to relay the incredible thoughts that ran through his head during another domestic collision, this time against Jack Arnfield in 2016.
“I had another crack at middleweight against Jack Arnfield and he just got the better of me. In that Arnfield fight I was thinking ‘please just put me out of my misery’. I wanted him to knock me out because there was no way I was going to quit.
“I wanted to be hit on the chin, put out of my misery and then look for something else to do. I just didn’t have the fight in me anymore.
“I trained like a beast and I always trained hard. I am always fit but getting down to that weight just took something out of me. It just wasn’t there and 24 hours wasn’t enough to replenish it and come again.
“People probably think I am a bit sadistic for saying all this, but it was tough. You’re in a fight and nothing is working for you, nothing is coming off and you are getting picked off. You think to yourself ‘another four rounds of this… I’m not going to quit, so please put me out of my misery’.
“The move up to 168lbs took the pressure off and I enjoyed camps not having to worry about that last bit. Before I was purely training to make weight, not even to get fit.”
Oleary Hits The Title Trail!
(November 16th) The big bang, Pierce O’Leary fights for the first of what he firmly believes will be many title belts when he goes for the coveted WBC International super lightweight title at The 02 on 26 November, live on BT Sport.
O’Leary takes on Emmanuel Mungandjela – known as the Lion – for the vacant title on a blockbuster card headlined by Zach Parker against John Ryder trading for the WBO Interim world super middleweight championship. O’Leary’s iBox Gym teammates Dennis McCann and Sam Noakes also feature, both challenging for Commonwealth titles. WBC Silver middleweight champion Hamzah Sheeraz is in action against River Wilson-Bent with the Commonwealth crown also at stake.
“I’m straight in for a big title,” said the 22-year-old Dubliner. “In my first fight for Frank Warren I was going to fight for the WBC Youth title but it was hard to get an opponent under 23 so I said to skip it and then go for the big one – and it’s only going to get bigger and bigger!”
O’Leary’s personal scouting mission of his Namibian opponent only amounted to a matter of seconds, but he will be aware that Mungandjela holds a record of 16-3-1 (7 KOs) and that he is on a 14-fight winning streak, with his three losses and a draw coming in the early stage of his career.
“I was given a film of one of my opponent’s fights to have a look at, but it went the distance, so I only watched 10 seconds of it and that was it, enough for me.
“At the end of the day, fighters bring different stuff on the night, so it is about being a champion, proving myself on the night and adapting.”
The Queensberry debut O’Leary referred to came against the confident Nicaraguan Robin Zamora, who was brutally poleaxed in the second round at the Copper Box on an occasion he relished after finally finding himself on the big stage.
“It was amazing, but I found him a bit tricky at the start. I knew it was eight rounds and I would catch him, as soon as his feet got slow and that would be it. I switched southpaw, started to adapt a bit better because I go southpaw in the gym against Henry Turner for the whole thing. It is my trick, I am like the matrix and I can do it all. It is just a matter of timing in the ring and I’ve got to be patient.
“He wanted to win and ruin my career. I wasn’t going to let that happen so I had to go in, suss him out for the first round and for the second round Al told me to put the gas on, so that is what I went out and done,” he recalled, before paying tribute to the army of fans who travelled over to support him in London in numbers that a local fighter would be proud of.
“Yeah, I’ve got a really big fanbase, an incredible one, and without them it is impossible. You hear them when you are walking out and it gives you a spur. If you weren’t excited before you are when you get boosted by them and I think I am here for them and here to put a big statement in.
“Without them, what is boxing? They are all friends, friends of friends and friends of family. Where I come from, if someone is doing good, one household getting behind you leads to another one and another one and they all come along at a certain stage. I will sell a lot of tickets for this fight.
“Boxing is huge in Ireland and it could even be the top one out of all sports. It has always been right up there, especially when the Olympics is going on. They love the amateurs, love it, but not me though as I wanted to get out of it!”
Should O’Leary, as he anticipates, end this year as the proud owner of a shiny green WBC belt, he is quite clear as to where he would like 2023 to take him. And that is homeward bound.
“It is going to be a massive 2023. I want to keep on pushing, defend it a couple of times and then I plan on getting a fight back home. We deserve a fight back home in Dublin for the fans because there are so many people who come over here and spend a fortune on tickets, flights, hotels and spending money.
“A fight back home is what we need. Maybe the 3 Arena, or if it is going to be a welcome home fight, perhaps something smaller, but the 3 Arena for a major title. It is easily done.”
About Frank Warren
In an era spanning over 35 years, Hall of Fame boxing Promoter and Manager Frank Warren has worked with some of the biggest fighters in boxing history. Hamed, Bruno, Tyson, Calzaghe, Benn, Collins, Eubank, Khan and Hatton are some of the iconic names he has promoted during his career.
In 2011 Frank launched the innovative direct to consumer TV model, BoxNation as part of a vision that saw the sports TV market evolving from the traditional reliance on major satellite and cable broadcasters.
Since then BoxNation has gone from strength to strength becoming the UK’s fastest growing independent subscription broadcaster in the process and showcasing the biggest fights from at home and abroad, along the way.
Through Queensberry Promotions and BoxNation, the future of British boxing has never looked in such great shape.
About BT Sport
BT Sport is a group of pay television sports channels provided by BT Consumer; a division of BT Group in the United Kingdom and Ireland that was launched on 1 August 2013. The channels are based at the former International Broadcast Centre at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.
Sam’s Rule of Thumb!
(November 5th) Sam Noakes is back in search of a perfect 10 when he makes his return at the 02 Arena on November 26 after making his recovery from a broken thumb, live on BT Sport.
Thrill-a-minute lightweight Sam was due to fight back in July before a sparring injury sustained while working with Archie Sharp put him on the missing list.
Now he is set to fight for the Commonwealth title against the unbeaten Scot Calvin McCord on the undercard of the big Zach Parker vs John Ryder clash for the WBO Interim world super middleweight title.
“Camp was going well and I was sparring Archie,” reflected Noakes, 25. “I think it was the seventh or eighth round, right at the end, and I switched through, misjudged the distance and hit him on top of the head. I thought ‘that hurt’, then I carried on, hit a few jabs out and it was still hurting.
“So I stopped and they took my hand out of the glove and my thumb was wedged underneath. I went to the hospital and, after the x-ray, she called me straight in. I thought ‘this ain’t good’ because normally you are just sat there if it is not urgent and they just leave you there.
“I had snapped it with a clean break. At least you know where you stand with a clean break, it is sweet now, but it was a pain in the ar*e at the time and I wasn’t very happy!
“So I’ve been out for eight months and I’m an old has-been now… All forgotten about.”
“I’ve fallen on my feet here though, having the Commonwealth title, so I am happy with that.”
Noakes resisted the temptation of becoming a couch potato during his absence and hit the road to keep in trim.
“As soon as I got the solid cast on I was running straight away. If I had sat about eating when I came back I would be a middleweight! So I kept ticking over and I was lucky to only have it on for about four weeks. When it came off I was pushing weights and I was happy just to be back in the gym.
“I left it another couple of weeks before the punching, but you don’t normally punch people with your thumb. As long as I don’t do that again I reckon I’ll be sweet.”
And as he chases a perfect 10 wins with 10 KOs against a fellow unbeaten fighter, Noakes knows he has got no easy pickings.
“He’s got 12 wins so I know he is gonna be tough. He had a good amateur career as well and is a good opponent.
“It is nice to be in a more 50-50 fight, 12 rounds for the Commonwealth title and I am buzzing for it.
“I think their gameplan might be to get it done in the later rounds. He has got a good IQ with being 12-0 and been about. It is gonna be a good fight, I don’t know what he is going to do and I will have to suss it out on the night.
“I am looking forward to it. It gives you more of an edge because you can’t switch off against these people. He is unbeaten and he isn’t here to mess about. He is going to be training harder than he’s ever trained before, he will be up for it and it is a big occasion for the pair of us.
“I’m not overlooking anybody. I want that 10th knockout. I have been saying it since my debut and 10 wins with nine KOs will be very upsetting for me! I will be going out all guns blazing.
“It is a good learning fight for me and a good fight for the stage I am at. I am very thankful to my team for making it for the Commonwealth title and at a great venue. I am really excited for it.
“I will be back with a bang!”
Hamzah Approaching River Crossing!
Hamzah Sheeraz will bid to add the Commonwealth middleweight title to his WBC Silver belt when he takes on the highly-rated River Wilson-Bent at the 02 Arena on November 26, live on BT Sport.
Zach Parker vs John Ryder tops the bill at the popular Greenwich venue, with Dennis McCann (against Joe Ham) and Sam Noakes (against Calvin McCord) also fighting for Commonwealth titles on the night at super bantamweight and lightweight respectively, while Pierce O’Leary takes on Emmanuel Mungandjela with the WBC International super lightweight title at stake.
Along with the Commonwealth title, Sheeraz (16-0, 12 KOs), 23, will be making a first defence of his WBC Silver title he won last time out by defeating Francisco Emanuel Torres via a fifth round stoppage. He previously won the WBC International Silver title with a defeat of Jez Smith and is a former holder of the WBO European title at super welterweight.
Wilson-Bent (13-1-1, 6) enjoyed a perfect run in the professional ranks until coming up against forthcoming British title challenger Tyler Denny. Their first encounter in November of last year ended up as a draw on the scorecards following an epic English title battle, before Denny prevailed in the rematch via a split decision.
The 28-year-old has previously won and defended the Midlands Area title against unbeaten opponents in Troy Coleman and George Farrell and recently returned to winning ways with a fifth round stoppage of Ben Thomas.
Promoter Frank Warren commented: “This is going to be some night of boxing! We’ve now got four major domestic title fights on the bill, with all of them near enough even-money. This is a show tailor-made for British fight fans.
“We explored a number of options when it came to choosing an opponent for Hamzah. He is still pretty new to the weight division, with having just two fights at 160lbs, so we determined that a tough domestic test will serve him best at this stage.
“River has fought on one of our Birmingham shows previously, so we know his quality and also know that he will view this as a breakthrough opportunity and will give it his absolute everything.
“This is the sort of examination Hamzah needs and I feel certain it will be a competitive and entertaining fight on what is already an exciting card. Having the Commonwealth title on the line is a big bonus and the winner will be firmly in line for a shot at the British title.”
Dennis McCann Predicts Power Surge!
(November 2nd) Dennis McCann promises his forthcoming opponent, Joe Ham, is going to ‘feel the power’ when they go into battle with the Commonwealth super bantamweight title at stake on November 26 at the 02 Arena, live on BT Sport.
McCann (13-0, 7 KOs) is going for a hattrick of title belts at the glitzy London venue that also staged his second fight as professional back in July 2019, having in his last two fights also claimed the WBO Youth super bantamweight title and the WBC International Silver belt at featherweight.
The 21-year-old features on a card headlined by the WBO Interim world super middleweight showdown between Zach Parker and John Ryder, that also sees Hamzah Sheeraz and his iBox Gym teammates Sam Noakes and Pierce O’Leary in championship action.
Gorbals man Ham (17-3, 6), a former decorated amateur, is expected to increase the risk level for the richly talented Maidstone youngster, but McCann suspects he is a box of tricks Ham won’t have encountered before.
“He is an ex-Team GB fighter and has boxed all around the world, but he hasn’t met Dennis the Menace yet or fought anyone like me,” insisted the super-slick southpaw.
“When he feels the power, he is not going to like it, trust me.”
The tests are, supposedly, getting tougher for the always-confident McCann, who emphatically defeated the more seasoned James Beech jr last time out in July.
Beech believed size and experience would count in his favour at the Copper Box Arena, but McCann set about the West Midlander right from the off and put him to the canvas before choosing to settle down and take a more calculated approach before ending the fight in the eighth.
He admits he was told there was no rush by his trainer and mentor Alan Smith, but had already figured out himself that Beech would enjoy a second wind after weathering the early storm.
“He did, but I am a clever kid and I can read fights so I realized he had recovered a little bit,” McCann explained. “I class myself as a world class fighter so I took my foot off the gas a little bit and broke him down knowing I would get him out of there later on.
“I reckon it was my best win, you’ve got to remember that kid is a natural featherweight, really, and has been up as far as super feather, so I thought I did well and got the job done, as I said I would.
“I told everyone I was going to stop him; I don’t tell lies and I got him out.”
Although McCann fought for a featherweight title, the limit was set in between super bantam and feather, but he confirms an increase in poundage from his former home at bantamweight was a welcome one.
“I felt strong, I felt very, very strong. I weighed in at 55.8kg, which is only half a kilo over the super bantamweight limit. Of course, it was easier, us fighters love getting a little allowance! If I was fighting at middleweight, I would make it hard for myself, that is fighters for you.
“I feel I am punching a lot harder; my manpower is starting to come now. I am wobbling people, hurting people and breaking people down. And I am finding it hard to get sparring partners because of it!”
Zach Parker vs John Ryder Kick Off Presser!
(move slider to 14:36 to begin watching)
(October 26th) The opening press conference for Zach Paker's WBO Interim Super Middleweight World Title fight against John Ryder.
A bumper card at the Greenwich venue will also see the unbeaten middleweight star Hamzah Sheeraz (16-0, 12) defend his WBC Silver title for a first time, having seized the belt in his second fight at 160lbs against Francisco Emanuel Torres in July.
Pierce O’Leary (10-0, 6), the super lightweight banger from Dublin, will have his second fight under the Queensberry banner and will challenge for the vacant WBC International championship.
The show also features two fascinating title fights involving two elite Queensberry prospects taking a significant step up.
Dennis ‘The Menace’ McCann (13-0, 7) from Maidstone will fight for the vacant Commonwealth super bantamweight title against Glasgow man Joe Ham (17-3, 6). Southpaw McCann, 21, has won the WBO Youth super bantamweight title and the WBC International Silver featherweight title in his last two fights.
Sam Noakes (9-0, 9), who is returning from a hand injury, will challenge for the vacant Commonwealth lightweight title against the unbeaten Scot Calvin McCord (11-0, 2) as he bids to make it a perfect 10, with 10 fights and 10 KOs.
“We have got a cracking show lined up for The 02, headlined by what should be an absolute stormer between our man Zach Parker and the highly respected John Ryder for the WBO Interim world title at super middleweight,” said promoter Frank Warren.
“We were expecting Zach to come up against Demetrius Andrade, but with Andrade having pulled out for the second time, now it gives us a bigger domestic clash against the no.2 contender, Ryder. The winner will be the mandatory for when Canelo Alvarez is forced back into action at super middleweight, or elects to vacate his belts.
“Future world champions – in my book – Hamzah Sheeraz and Pierce O’Leary, will be in big fights and our top young prospects Dennis McCann and Sam Noakes are again in title action against highly competitive opponents who will give them their toughest tests to date.”
Bexley welterweight Micky Burke Jr (7-0, 3) and London super lightweight Sonny Liston Ali (4-0) will be in six round fights, with Brick Lane welterweight Khalid Ali (4-0, 2) fighting over four rounds.
Parker: I Will Get A Stoppage Over Ryder!
(October 25th) Zach Parker views his forthcoming collision with John Ryder as the fight that will propel him onto the super middleweight top table and he believes he will knockout his North London rival.
Derby man Parker and Ryder from Islington will go into battle at the 02 Arena on November 26 with the WBO Interim world super middleweight title on the line.
Parker (22-0, 16 KOs) has been on a formidable run of form since linking up with Frank Warren and Queensberry, scoring spectacular knockout victories over Vaughn Alexander, Sherzod Khusanov and Marcus Morrison. Three men who had not previously been stopped.
He was due to face former WBO world middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade for the Interim belt, but injury and then a withdrawal saw all roads lead to next in line Ryder, a former world title challenger who, last time out, defeated Daniel Jacobs.
“Yeah 100% it will, he has been in there with the best so I’ve just got to go out and do a number on him and then I will have arrived on the world scene,” considered Parker, in conversation with Dev Sahni on the Queensberry YouTube Channel.
“It is going to be a good fight. At least he’s got the balls to come and fight me, unlike Andrade. He always brings it, so if we both do that and meet in the middle, it will be one for the fans.”
Parker has long suspected that he would eventually go toe-to-toe in a high stakes clash with Ryder and is grateful to his promoter for bringing it about.
“I have kept an eye out for him, although obviously he was at middleweight, but now he has come up with a few good wins and had a close one with Callum Smith.
“I thought we might meet down the line and here we are. Frank is the man who has made it happen and I can’t wait for fight night now.
“That he has done this for me is a sign of the trust we have. I trust Frank and he trusts me. We were going to have the Andrade fight in Derby but the season has started now so we will have a good night for the fans at the 02 and may the best man win.
“It should be a good fight, but I reckon I will get a stoppage over Ryder. I think he is just a bit too small for super middleweight. He has boxed some but they have taken him lightly, thinking they are gonna beat him easily.”
Parker vs Ryder
All Set for November 26th At The O2!
(October 18th) The WBO interim super middleweight world championship will be on the line when Zach Parker takes on John Ryder at The 02 on Saturday November 26 in what should be a thrilling domestic collision, live on BT Sport.
Parker, the super middleweight destroyer from Derby, was originally set to fight Demetrius Andrade for the Interim title before the American withdrew from the running and next in line is North Londoner Ryder, who Parker has previously expressed a keen willingness to fight in what is a major all-British clash.
Parker (22-0, 16 KOs) has blasted out all before him since teaming up with Frank Warren and Queensberry, scoring brutal knockouts victories over Vaughn Alexander, Sherzod Khusanov and Marcus Morrison – three men who had not previously been stopped.
Now the 28-year-old goes up against the Islington ‘Gorilla’ in Ryder (31-5, 17), who has been in a formidable run of form at super middleweight, beating Daniel Jacobs last time out in February and who many observers felt edged Callum Smith in a world title challenge in November 2019.