While his team-mates prepare for a Cricket World Cup campaign, Jesse Ryder is ready to get in the boxing ring. Jesse Ryder defended his upcoming participation in an amateur boxing bout on March 28. While his New Zealand countrymen prepare for a Cricket World Cup campaign, Ryder is shaping up for a fight against blogger Cameron Slater – as part of the Super 8 Cruiser weight tournament in Christchurch.
Ryder has boxed before, knocking out sports-radio host Mark Watson in under two minutes in a much-anticipated bout in Auckland in July 2012. He had also challenged former New Zealand batsman Craig McMillan and former England allrounder Andrew Flintoff to sparring matches previously.
The 30-year-old has been a controversial figure in New Zealand, in and out of the national side due to wavering form and disciplinary issues across a career which has tallied 18 Tests and 48 one-day internationals. Ryder survived an assault at a Christchurch bar in March 2013 after spending several days in a coma, but he said the remnants of any physical issues as a result were non-existent.
“A lot of people have come out and said I shouldn’t be doing it but I’ve passed all my medical and concussion clinic tests and had no recurring issues so I’m happy with where I’m at,” Ryder said.
In the last three years, Ryder’s off-field-issues list included him being dropped for disciplinary issues during the one-day series against South Africa in February 2012, before having to serve a six-month suspension for taking banned stimulants – a period that coincided with his recovery from the assault in Christchurch. He was recalled for the home series against West Indies in December, but was again dropped two months later for staying out late at an Auckland bar on the eve of a Test against India.