An intriguing clash with world title shot implications takes place at the O2 Arena in London this Saturday night, as Zach Parker and John Ryder meet in a cross-promotional tussle. It’s set for twelve rounds, with the vacant interim WBO super middleweight title at stake.
Frank Warren promotes Parker vs Ryder and BT Sport televise live in the UK.
Parker (22-0, 16 KOs) was close to a world title shot previously, but saw a contest for the same interim strap against Demetrius Andrade at Pride Park go up in smoke due to the American picking up an injury.
The contest was ordered again, but never came to fruition. Parker has gained a lofty WBO ranking after serving as the International champion for three defences, the last a fourth round stoppage of Marcus Morrison in November last year.
The Derby man has won his last five outings early. His bout with Matchroom promoted Ryder (31-5, 17 KOs) should be his toughest to date, with the Londoner on a run of seven wins from his last eight fights.
‘The Gorilla’ lost a contentious decision to Callum Smith for the WBA ‘super’ world title in November 2019, and has won three on the spin since, the last a career-best split verdict victory against Daniel Jacobs in February.
Prediction: This should be a hard-fought affair, and I think both will have their moments, but I lean towards the more seasoned Ryder to take a tight win on the scorecards.
Sheeraz battles Bent
Hamzah Sheeraz is also on the bill, and defends his WBC Silver middleweight title, and vies for the vacant Commonwealth belt, against Coventry’s River Wilson-Bent.
Sheeraz (16-0, 12 KOs) has won his last ten by stoppage, and won the vacant WBC silver title in July, having to come off the deck to stop Francisco Emanuel Torres in five.
Wilson-Bent (13-1-1, 6 KOs) was held to a draw by Tyler Denny for the vacant English title in November last year, and then lost a split decision to the same opponent in June.
The 28-year-old was back out in September, stopping Ben Thomas in five rounds.
McCann meets Ham
Dennis McCann (13-0, 7 KOs) goes for his first domestic title, and ‘The Menace’ should get the better of Scotland’s Joe Ham (17-3, 6 KOs), possibly requiring the scorecards to claim the vacant Commonwealth super bantamweight title.
The vacant Commonwealth crown is also on the line at lightweight, and Sam Noakes (9-0, 9 KOs) can claim that, as well as defending his WBC International Silver belt, by stopping the unbeaten Calvin McCourt (12-0, 2 KOs) before the halfway mark.
Pierce O’Leary (10-0, KO6) can take his first professional title, and can stop Namibia’s Emmanuel Mungandjela (16-3-1, 7 KOs) to acquire the WBC International Super lightweight title.
At super lightweight, Sonny Ali (4-0) should take a points win over six rounds against Georgi Velichkov (3-6, 3 KOs), and at cruiserweight, Tommy Fletcher (2-0, 2 KOs) should stop Jiri Krejci (1-2-2) inside their four round distance.