Daniel ‘Miracle Man’ Jacobs and John Ryder successfully weighed in on Friday for their headliner this Saturday, February 12th live on DAZN at the Alexandra Palace, London, England.
#9 WBA Jacobs (37-3,30 KOs) and #4 WBA Ryder 30-5, 17 KOs) are competing in WBA super middleweight title eliminator to determine the mandatory for champion Canelo Alvarez.
166.9 lbs – Jacobs
167 lbs – Ryder
The 35-year-old Jacobs is viewed as the favorite in this fight due to his power, speed, size, and experience.
Although Jacobs hasn’t beaten a high-level opponent since his narrow win over Sergiy Derevyanchenko in 2018, he’s still seen as having too much ability for the undersized 5’9″ Ryder to overcome in this fight.
Whether Jacobs wins will depend on how much he has left after sitting inactive for the last fifteen months following his victory over Gabe Rosado on November 27, 2020.
Jacobs looked uninspired against Rosado, missing shots, retreating constantly, and looking like the shell of the fighter that had given Canelo and Gennady Golovkin problems.
With the opportunity to lock himself in position for a big-money rematch with Canelo, we’ll likely see a vintage effort from Jacobs on Saturday night. Jacobs made millions from his fight with Canelo in 2019, and he’d like another massive payday in a rematch against the superstar.
Now set for life with a reported net worth of $10 million, Jacobs could potentially add another $10M to his bank account in a second fight against Canelo.
“Depending on which Jacobs shows up, you’d probably have to say that he’s the favorite in this one,” said Callum Smith to DAZN.
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) February 11, 2022
“When he fought [Gabriel] Rosado in his last fight, Jacobs was nowhere his best, and that’s where you can give Ryder a chance. Have they looked at that version of him and maybe think he’s on the way down?” said Smith of Jacobs.
There’s little doubt that the 35-year-old Jacobs is on his way down as a fighter. In his two fights since his loss to Canelo in 2019, Jacobs didn’t look exceptional against Rosado and a badly faded Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
It was strange that DAZN agreed to place Jacobs vs. Chavez Jr as a main event in one of their cards in December 2019. What a terrible mistake that turned out to be, as Chavez Jr. suddenly stopped throwing punches after the first two rounds and quit in his corner after the fifth.
Not surprisingly, the ringside crowd bombarded Chavez Jr. and Jacobs with garbage after the fight was halted. All of this could have been avoided if DAZN had rejected the fight and insisted that Jacobs fight a relevant super middleweight rather than the shot to pieces Chavez Jr.
“If he is, then it’ll make for a good fight, but if it was just an off night and Jacobs has put it right with his old trainer, Andre Rozier, he should be too good.
He’s [Jacobs] definitely the best fighter, but it’s just whether he’s at his best or not,” said Callum.
It’s unclear why the WBA chose to sanction the Ryder vs. Jacobs fight as an official title eliminator for the 168-lb strap, as there are higher-ranked contenders that were skipped over.
It would have been more interesting to see #3 WBA Caleb Plant take on #1 Aidos Yerbossynuly for the WBA title eliminator than seeing #4 Ryder face #9 Jacobs vie for the mandatory spot.
What makes it look worse is that Jacobs hasn’t fought in 15 months and is coming off a controversial win over Rosado in his last fight. It sends a wrong message lower ranked inactive fighters get a chance to fight in title eliminators.