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Callum Smith-John Ryder official for November 23rd in Liverpool

Ryder has been Smith’s mandatory challenger since October of last year

Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. - Weigh Ins Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

He may not have landed the Canelo fight, but Callum Smith still wound up in a pretty solid scrap on DAZN. He is officially set to face mandatory challenger John Ryder on November 23rd in the second defense of the WBA title he lifted from George Groves last year, avoiding a September 29th purse bid deadline.

Ryder (28-4. 16 KO) has excelled since a 1-2 skid that saw him fall to Jack Arnfield and Rocky Fielding, racking up four consecutive knockouts. He was set for his highest-profile fight to date against David Lemieux on the Canelo-Jacobs undercard, but had to settle for a mauling of prospect Bilal Akkawy after the Canadian brawler withdrew due to injury.

Even with his recent success, though, Smith (26-0, 19 KO) is a tall task. Literally; he’ll have six inches of height and reach on “The Gorilla.” There has, however, been some concern about the 29-year-old’s ability to make the super middleweight limit, so Ryder might be getting his shot at just the right time.

Thanks to time zones, this event will avoid the two other fights set for that evening: Deontay Wilder-Luis Ortiz II on FOX PPV and Andrew Cancio-Rene Alvarado II on ESPN+.

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