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Result: Callum Smith beats John Ryder to retain WBA super-middleweight title

Londoner John Ryder was a big outsider but won many fans with his performance.

Callum Smith survived a stringent examination against John Ryder to hold onto his WBA super-middleweight title at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool.

Smith, a 20-1 on favourite at the first bell, had some anxious moments and was cut badly around the right eye, but took the decision 117-111, 116-112, 116-112 on the judges' scorecards.

Ryder never took a backward step and the decision was met with some derision among the crowd.

"I didn't underestimate John in training," Smith told Sky Sports Main Event.

"I knew he was a tough fighter and it was going to be that type of fight, that he was going to get really close and stop me from what I'm good at.

"It wasn't the best performance but I thought I won.

"He worked hard at the end, but I was due a bad one. It's the first time I've been cut in a fight and I'll be a better boxer because of it."

Ryder has been a notoriously slow starter during his career, but the 31-year-old Londoner began in confident fashion and possibly shaded the opening two rounds.

Smith's usual snap in his punching was lacking and he struggled to make his significant reach advantage count against the compact Ryder.

But Smith launched a flurry of punches at the end of the fifth round, and noticeably had more success when he increased the distance between the two men.

M and S Bank Arena Boxing
Callum Smith (left) celebrates victory against John Ryder (Richard Sellers/PA)

Ryder refused to be fazed, though, and landed a heavy left in the seventh that had the favourite covering up on the ropes.

There was a nasty clash of heads in the eighth and Smith was clearly upset by another collision in the ninth as he protested to the referee.

Ryder had Smith wobbling in the 11th round with a left hook as he sought to finish the fight.

But Smith held on and was relieved to hear the final bell and to keep hold of his world belt.

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States13141037
ChinaChina136928
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Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia810725
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Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events


ROWING
· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

HOCKEY
· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

CANOE SLALOM
· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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