Callum Smith is looking forward to defending his world title on home soil in Liverpool ahead of a possible Anfield clash in 2020.
‘Mundo’ had been hoping to land a massive unification this year, but decided to plow on with a mandatory defense instead.
Smith returns home on November 23 knowing a dream, in the ilk of a win through online pokies pro, fight at Liverpool Football Club hangs in the balance.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to return to Liverpool as World Champion to defend my titles,” said Smith.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to bring World Championship boxing to the city. Hopefully this is the first of a big run of fights here.
‘My last three fights have been on the road in Germany, Saudi Arabia and New York. Whilst they have been incredible experiences, there is nothing quite like a big fight night in Liverpool.
“It’s also pleasing that I get to be involved in a domestic fight against a tough opponent in John Ryder.”
On his opponent, Smith added: “He has fought his way to mandatory challenger and is on a big run of knockout wins that make him full of confidence.
“I’m working hard in camp to be at my best and make a statement as we head into a huge 2020.
“Right now the focus is on Ryder and defending my belts in style in my city on November 23.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn said: “It’s always great to be in Liverpool. Even better when we’re bringing World Championship boxing to the city.
“And even better when you’ve got one of your own defending his World Championship.
“It’s also not just any one of your own, the number one in the division, Callum Smith – the reigning WBA, WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine Super-Middleweight Champion of the World.
“I am delighted to confirm his opponent, his mandatory challenger John Ryder, of course on one of the hottest spells in the division right now.
“Stoppages, four of them on the bounce against Jamie Cox, Patrick Nielsen, Andrey Sirotkin and Bilal Akkawy on the Canelo card recently in Las Vegas.
“He’s on a great run of form and it is so good to have a domestic fight for the World Championship.
“Like I said, I was talking to Callum about the top 15 and looking at voluntary defences and sometimes it’s difficult when you have achieved what he’s achieved to really get your teeth into one of those.
“I know that you lot (fans) want to see a good fight. You want to see someone who is coming to fight, coming to win and achieve their dream of becoming a World Champion.
“Callum Smith knows that this is a very real test and challenge and he’s dealing with his mandatory at the right time,” he added.