Legend labels Smith vs Ryder ‘worst ever British world title fight decision’

Callum Smith vs John Ryder 2

Mark Robinson

British legend Michael Watson has aired his disgruntled views on the recent world title decision for Callum Smith over challenger John Ryder.

Smith took a unanimous verdict on Saturday night despite Ryder seemingly doing enough to take the Liverpool man’s belt on home soil.

It wasn’t to be for the Londoner, who was denied by shock tallies of 117-111 and 116-112 twice in favor of Smith.

The general consensus on social media was the Ryder should be the new champion. But sadly, Ryder was on a hiding to nothing facing Smith on Merseyside.

Watson believes the judges handing Smith a win was up there with the all-time wrongs on UK soil.

“Just caught up on (Smith vs Ryder) boxing. That is the worst ever decision and points scoring I have witnessed in an all British world title fight.

“Good on (Sky Sports) Johnny Nelson for being honest. John Ryder won by three rounds,” said Watson.

“Shame on British Boxing. Based on last night look into it and hold them accountable,” he added.

The overwhelming majority agreed with Watson, whilst a former opponent of Smith’s brother Liam gave an expletive-laden comment.

“F***ing hell that was some fight fair play. Scorecards were boll***s. I honestly thought Ryder won,” said Welshman Liam Williams.

“And whatever people may think, I don’t dislike Callum Smith. I didn’t care who won. (I just) thought John deserved the win.”


CompuBox released statistics on the WBA super middleweight championship contest which seemed to back up the anger.

“Final Punch Stats for Smith vs Ryder. Smith was more active but Ryder had the overall edge in accuracy (34.6%-18.2%). He enjoyed a 142-103 edge in the power department.

“Ryder out-landed Smith in eight of the twelve rounds.”

A rematch would seemingly be the way to go, but with Smith wanting bigger names in the division, Ryder would be highly unlikely to get one.

The best thing for ‘The Gorilla’ to do may be to go again and this time try to secure neutral territory if he can earn another chance.

Working his whole life for an opportunity only to see it taken away by a wrong decision leaves a bad taste in the mouth of Ryder supporters, though.