Canelo vs Jacobs: John Ryder preserves mandatory status to Calllum Smith's WBA 'Super' title
John Ryder crushes Bilal Akkawy in three rounds in Las Vegas to remain in line for Callum Smith's super-middleweight crown
By Peter Gilbert
Last Updated: 05/05/19 9:55am
John Ryder stopped Bilal Akkawy to win the vacant interim WBA super-middleweight title.
Ryder kept himself in line for a shot at Callum Smith's WBA 'Super' title after securing a third-round TKO on the undercard of Saul Alvarez-Daniel Jacobs at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
After a cagey opener both fighters began to let their hands go before Londoner Ryder dropped Akkawy in the third with a right-hook counter.
Akkawy was quickly up but Ryder cornered his man and caught him again with another right hook followed by an uppercut to send him to the canvas a second time.
The Australian, who was a late replacement after David Lemieux suffered a hand injury two weeks ago, made it to his feet but referee Jay Nady decided he had seen enough and waved off the fight on the 2:12 mark.
"I felt great, I was just taking my time," said Ryder, who stopped Andrey Sirotkin in seven rounds to become the WBA's mandatory challenger in October.
"I want to fight for a world title. I feel like I've served my apprenticeship, I've taken the highs with the lows and I want the biggest fights I can be in."