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John Ryder destroys Bilal Akkawy in Las Vegas, scores third-round stoppage

Ryder (right) on the attack against Akkawy. Photo courtesy of Official Matchroom Twitter Account
Fighters Network

Not a lot happened over the first two rounds, then plenty happened.

British super middleweight John Ryder decked late substitute Bilal Akkawy three times en-route to a sparkling third-round stoppage at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday.

Ryder, whose original opponent, David Lemieux, withdrew due to injury, decked the previously unbeaten Australian with a sharp right hook counter from the southpaw stance early in Round 3. Akkawy rose and tried his best to fire back, but a solid combination backed him into a corner and a flush right hook-left hand dropped him again. There was no way back and a brutal two-fisted assault forced referee Jay Nady to stop the contest. The official time was 2:12.

“I felt great and I was just taking my time,” said Ryder in his post-right interview with Sky Sports in the U.K. “We’d been observing Bilal and for the first four rounds he’s busy, high guard, dangerous – but we were prepared for a 12-round fight.

“I want to fight for a world title now. I’ve served my apprenticeship and I want the big fights. But (tonight) I got to fight for an interim (WBA) world title in Las Vegas and I’m very fortunate.”

Ryder improves to 28-4 (16 knockouts) and Akkawy drops to 20-1-1 (16 KOs).

Tom Gray is the Associate Editor for The Ring and a member of The Ring ratings panel. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing


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