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Talking Boxing

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February 7, 2017

A Gorilla out of the mist

John Ryder, Chris Eubank Jr, Jamie Cox, Luke Blackledge, Vincent Feigenbutz, Christopher Rebrasse

Will Ryder be the next PPV opponent for Chris Eubank Jr?

by Shaun Brown

John Ryder is no longer a 'Gorilla' in the mist.

The 28-year-old's career now has a better outlook after beating Adam Etches for the vacant IBF International Super Middleweight title on points on Saturday night as part of the Chris Eubank Jr-Renold Quinlan PPV undercard on ITV Box Office.

Etches had described the fight to Talking Boxing as a "crossroads" bout, arguably even more so for Ryder who had suffered three defeats in his career when stepping up in opposition against Billy Joe Saunders, Nick Blackwell and Jack Arnfield respectively.

With things now on a bit of an upward curve for Ryder, and presuming he stays at 168lbs, we take a look at who may be next for 'The Gorilla'.

Chris Eubank Jr.

Ryder may have found himself in the frame to face the new IBO Super Middleweight champion after stepping up to 168lbs to defeat Etches - a man who once courted a fight with Junior himself. Eubank tested the waters at super middleweight against Renold Quinlan at the weekend, and now a new foe is needed. What better than a credible all-British affair to put forward to the paymasters at ITV (Box Office)? The cries from Team Eubank may be for the DeGale's and Golovkin's of the world, but the reality is they will look for someone who they believe the new "champion" will shine against. That may not necessarily be the case against Ryder who would provide a much sterner test than Quinlan did.

Luke Blackledge

Blackledge is one of the toughest men in the British super middleweight division, and enhanced his reputation by going 10 rounds against the division's Lonsdale belt holder Callum Smith back in December. Smith, who is waiting on a shot at the vacant WBC Super Middleweight world title, will vacate the British strap leaving it free for two men like Blackledge and Ryder to go after it, should the British Boxing Board of Control deem them worthy of doing so. Ryder may have higher aspirations, but the British title slipped through his grasp when challenging Nick Blackwell for the middleweight version in 2015 and would surely relish another opportunity at winning one of the sport's most coveted belts.

Vincent Feigenbutz

Once seen as one of Germany's top prospects, Feigenbutz (21) had two fights between October 2015 and January 2016 against Giovanni De Carolis for the WBA Super Middleweihgt world title. Twenty-three rounds later the score reads 1-1 with Feigenbutz on the wrong side of a stoppage loss in the rematch. Feigenbutz, promoted by Sauerland, holds a top 10 ranking with the IBF and would be a good name to boost the credentials of Ryder at 168lbs. The likelihood is Ryder would have to travel to Germany, however.

Jamie Cox

Cox is in need of a meaningful fight, and Ryder is no stranger to appearing on a Frank Warren promotion having been the away fighter against fellow Londoner Billy Joe Saunders back in 2013. Cox, unbeaten in 21 starts, does represent high risk-low reward at the moment but Warren, now with the backing of BT Sport, could present an offer to Ryder that may be hard to turn down. Ryder v Cox is a British fight of the year contender before a bell has even rung.

Christopher Rebrasse

'L'iceberg' might be sick of running into British fighters, having already faced George Groves, Callum Smith and Rocky Fielding in the UK between September 2014 and April 2016. The latter of the three gave Rebrasse his best performance and enough of an argument to suggest the Frenchman beat Fielding over a tightly contested 12 round fight. Rebrasse has went 36 rounds with three of the UK's best at super middleweight and would provide a good barometer as to where Ryder's career is going at his new weight.