WBA super middleweight champion Callum Smith chalked up his lackluster performance against mandatory challenger John Ryder to a lack of fear of Ryder, who was a 25:1 underdog heading into the fight, giving away significant height and reach.
Callum Smith: “I want the best names in the division and I’m not disrespecting John Ryder but there was no fear tonight,” Smith told Sky Sports. “I didn’t believe John Ryder was good enough to beat me. There are fighters that I believe are good enough to beat me if I don’t perform and that’s going to bring out the best in me. That’s what I want, I want the big names. I just want a big name, where if I turn up like tonight I’ll lose. That fear brings out the best performance in me, I feel I need that.”
John Ryder: “I thought that was harsh. I thought I forced the fight, he was just nicking rounds, if that. I thought I done enough to win that. I’ve lost for the British title three times, I’ve come back and fought for a world title against the world #1. I think I’ve done more than enough to show I’m credible for this and I will come again.”