Sandy Ryan has told Jessica McCaskill to ‘keep the belts warm’ as they meet in a Welterweight unification clash on Saturday night (September 23) at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, Florida(DAZN).
Ryan (6-1 2 KOs) landed the vacant WBO title in her last fight, seeing off Canadian Marie Pier Houle in Cardiff in April, and in her first defense, she travels to Florida to face WBA, WBC, IBO and Ring Magazine champion McCaskill (12-3 5 KOs), the Chicagoan who is fighting in her tenth consecutive World title bout.
Ryan, who turned 30 on Saturday, believes she’s heading down the path of her own lengthy run of World title action starting in Orlando and leading to an undisputed fight next, then showdowns with the other big-name champions in the sport.
“This is just massive for me,” said Ryan. “Jessica is up there, she is on the pound-for-pound list and that’s where I want to be, so I need to beat girls like her to be where she is. I really respect Jessica as a fighter, and you’ll see that this week with the shape that I am in and the mentality that I have. I remember watching her against Katie and she’s done so well since then, she’s always been in the big fights, and she’s won most of them.
“She’s tough, she’s going to come with everything, she’s never been stopped and she knows the pro game because she’s been in it a long time so she knows all the tricks, but I feel that with my ability I am at another level to her.
“I’m not going off the Chantelle Cameron fight as I think she had a bad night; I’ve had a bad night and I don’t think anyone would look at me with that performance. I can see that there’s some bad habits from that fight, but she will be training her heart out for this fight because if she loses, it’s her last fight, she’ll have nothing, no belts. That’s why I am making sure I am fully prepared. She’s going to see isn’t she. I don’t need to say much, we’ll see on Saturday night, just be ready, keep the belts warm for me.
“It’s all about big fights now for me. This is massive but the level I am at, if I win this fight, I want to be undisputed and there’s nothing bigger, so this is the level I am now. You never know in boxing what is going to happen but now I am at this level, I feel I am here to stay.
“Every pro wants to hold all the belts, that’s the aim, it’s legacy. Welterweight is where I am at, I’ve done 140lbs as well, there are some massive fights that can be made with all the best girls, let me get all the belts at 147 and then let’s all make big fights.
“I think I can be a star in the game. I’m quite low-key, but I know what I can achieve, and I can be a massive name in the women’s pro scene.”
Ryan’s clash with McCaskill is part of a stacked card in Orlando, topped by the biggest test of Richardson Hitchin’s (16-0 7 KOs) career to date against Jose Zepeda (36-3 27 KOs), with the WBC Silver, WBO NABO and IBF North American Super-Lightweight titles on the line.
Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams (14-0 10 KOs) press his claims for World title action at Middleweight as he tackles Steve Rolls (22-2 12 KOs) and will Orestes Velazquez (7-0 6 KOs) will defend his WBA International Super-Lightweight title to kick off the main card against Mohamed Soumaoro (13-1 6 KOs).
Khalil Coe (6-0-1 4 KOs) continues to rise through the ranks at Light-Heavyweight, and ‘Big Steppa’ headlines the Before The Bell action and will be looking for his third KO win of 2023 against Kenmon Evans (10-1-1 3 KOs). Super-Welterweight Jeovanny Estella (12-0 3 KOs) and Super-Flyweight Jasmine Artega (10-0-1 5 KOs) tasting action over eight rounds while Bantamweight Roberto Rivera Gomez (3-0 2 KOs) kicks the whole night off over four rounds, with all three fighters to be matched imminently.