Wade Ryan (the Boogeyman) continued his path to stardom and a potential world title shot after a 10-round beatdown of Japan’s Nath Nwachukwu last Wednesday night at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney.

The Boogeyman won almost every minute of every round to secure a unanimous decision victory and stamp his claim as one of Australia’s best super-welterweight talents with the scorecards reading 100-89, 99-90 and 98-91.

The 31-year-old has revived his career over the past 11 months, fighting four times and winning two by knockout and two by decision on his way to 20 professional wins in an illustrious career.

Now, Ryan is aiming to go global. With the help of the International Boxing Organisation (IBO), the Boogeyman has hovered around the top 50 of the super-welterweight rankings with an update coming in December. This could see Ryan move somewhere close to the top 10 and in reach of earning a shot at the now-vacant IBO belt following Erislandary Lara’s decision to relinquish the title.

Heading into what many claimed to be Ryan’s biggest test to date, the support in Sydney was on full display, a testament to his ability to gain attention through his sheer dominance in the ring.

With Jimmy Barnes’ ‘Working Class Man’ playing over the arena’s speakers during the walkout, Ryan was accompanied by some of the NRL’s best players including Manly’s Josh Aloiai, Panthers’ Jarome Luai, West Tigers’ James Roberts and Rabbitohs five-eight Cody Walker, just to name a few but as soon as the bell rang, he was alone inside the ropes. 

Ryan rose to the occasion, even faced with taunting and showboating from Nwachukwu. After a steady pace in the opening round, Ryan asserted his intent early, stalking his opponent around the ring while finding a comfortable rhythm and extinguishing any of Nwachukwu’s attacks. 

He told the Gunnedah Times why he was able to find success throughout the bout.

“When we agreed to the fight, we knew this would be the next step up in my career,” Ryan said.

“Everyone warned us that this would be tough and no fight is ever easy by any means but this was a dangerous task. 

“We prepared correctly and changed a few things with our tactics after the change in opponent. We wanted to stay away from his dangerous punches and use my speed, accuracy and footwork to my advantage which I thought we did well.

“We watched a few of Nath’s fights and it was obvious he had heavy hands if he got set on his feet. His fight with Takeshi Inoue who Tim Tszyu beat, you could see they both stood in each other’s pocket and landed some pretty big shots.”

With the help of David (Spike) Syphers, Ryan’s trainer and Todd Makelim, the team understood Nwachukwu’s biggest weakness which allowed the Boogeyman the ability to put the Japanese international out of position and open to a barrage of punches.

It was so devastating that Nwachukwu was forced to fight a large portion of the bout with his left eye completely shut as the doctor was called to determine whether the fight should continue in the eighth round.

Ryan spoke about Nwachukwu’s willingness to keep fighting despite only being able to see through the one eye. 

“We thought we hurt him throughout the fight but we also wanted to be very careful of his power,” he said.

“They have a strong tradition in Japan, they’re very tough people and you could see that with Inoue against Tszyu.”

Similar to Ryan’s experience with Nwachukwu, the main event saw WBO super-welterweight challenger, Tszyu come up against another Japanese international who refused to quit. Both Ryan and Tszyu earned a knockdown on their way to winning by unanimous decision, a real testament to the quality of boxing on display.

Despite the comprehensive victory last Wednesday night, Ryan is keen to let his body rest following a busy 11 months of training and fighting, leaving his future in the hands of his trainer, Spike Syphers and manager Dallas (DJ) Faulkner.

“We’re going to have a few weeks off,” Ryan said.

“I’ll leave it up to Spike and DJ to talk with the IBO, Matt and George Rose from No Limit to make a plan moving forward.

“There’s talk of putting in for the IBO world title or even an eliminator bout, so we will have to see what happens.”

A possible match-up could see the Boogeyman face off with Ireland’s two-time world title challenger Dennis Hogan who was also victorious last week.
His six-round unanimous decision win over Tommy Browne was impressive, however, with Hogan fading in the fifth and sixth round, it could be the perfect opportunity for Gunnedah’s best boxing prospect.

“We’re ranked number two in Australia, behind Tszyu so a fight with Dennis could be on the cards or maybe another international opponent,” Ryan said.

“Hogan’s a good international based in Australia but we’ll leave that up to the team and see how that goes.

“Our ultimate goal is to fight for and win the IBO world title. I’ve got all the faith in the team behind me and the plan they have set up.”

It will be an interesting next few months to see what awaits Ryan in the future and if an IBO world title shot eventuates. But in the meantime, Ryan’s fiance, Enja Prest looks to have landed a fight on the upcoming two-day No Limit Boxing event with NRL legend Paul Gallen facing Aloiai on December 10.

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