Sydney’s Bilal Akkawy has jumped in for the rescue after David Lemieux injured his hand. He will face John Ryder on the May 4th Canelo Alvarez-Daniel Jacobs card for the interim WBA super middleweight title.
I will be fighting John Ryder for the WBA interim World Title on May 4 in Las Vegas on the undercard of #CaneloJacobs undercard. @CANELOTEAM #Australia Fight will be live on @MainEventTV in Sunday, May 5 at 12pm AEST— Bilal Akkawy (@BilalAkkawy) April 22, 2019
Akkawy (20-0-1, 16 KO), a training partner of Alvarez under Eddy Reynoso and the current #4 WBA contender, was set for a 10-round gimme against Adrian Luna Flores on May 2nd, so this is more than a slight adjustment. His biggest victory to date came against former champion Giovanni De Carolis last year, with Kerry Hope the only other major name.
Ryder (27-4, 15 KO) figures to be a decent-sized favorite just based on his superior strength of schedule. “The Gorilla” has KO’d Patrick Nielsen, Jamie Cox, and Andrey Sirotkin since a questionable decision loss to Rocky Fielding. Akkawy is five years younger, an inch taller, and a strong prospect, though, so a breakout performance wouldn’t be too surprising.