Islington’s John Ryder set to box at the O2 Arena in May

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Islington-born super-middleweight John Ryder is set to face fellow Brit Jamie Cox on the undercard of David Haye and Tony Bellew’s rematch at London’s O2 Arena.

Ryder, who trained at Angel Amateur Boxing Club where he notched up a 30-5 winning record, has moved up to fourth in the WBA rankings and this meeting with Cox may be the final stepping-stone in his quest for a world-title shot after his devastating victory over the WBA’s number-one ranked Patrick Nielsen last year.

Bill Cross, the former secretary of Angel ABC, remembers John well. “He was always a good boy,” he said. “If he does what he’s capable of then of course he has a chance. He deserves a chance at world level as much as anyone.”

Ryder boxing at the O2 in 2015 against Nick Blackwell

Ryder, 29, has won 25 of his 29 professional fights, which have included bouts at some of the UK’s most prestigious venues including the O2, Wembley and Manchester arenas, and could be in line for a shot at WBA champion Tyron Zeuge.

“I don’t really want to step back now, I have this ranking and I want to make it count,” he said.

Ryder’s opponent, Jamie Cox, was recently stopped by WBA ‘super’ champion George Groves in the fourth round, but Ryder only had praise for Cox, saying “I like Cox as a person and as a fighter. He congratulated me on my win, and he’s a classy operator.”

“It’s been a long time coming following my career-best win, so I’m happy to get back in there in another big fight in my hometown.”

Both fighters are traditional southpaws, something they’ve each used to their advantage in the past. “I think our styles are geared up for a good fight,” Ryder said. “It’ll be a real treat for the fans on what’s shaping up to be a quality night of boxing. Jamie has a good record and to beat him would hold me in good stead.”