John Ryder (31-5, 17 KOs) rallied to defeat former IBF/WBA middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs (37-4, 30 KOs) by an upset 12 round split decision win in a WBA 168-lb title eliminator at the packed Alexandra Palace in London.
The victory for Ryder makes him the mandatory challenger for WBA super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez. What a fight that would be for Ryder if he can get it this year.
The 35-year-old Jacobs looked great through the first seven rounds, but in the eighth round, he was hurt by a right hand from Ryder.
That round proved to be a pivotal point in the fight, as Jacobs showed very little energy in rounds 9, 10, 11, and 12. The constant holding that Jacobs did in the last rounds made it clear that he was tired and had nothing left.
The scores were 115-113 115-113 Ryder, 115-113 Jacobs.
- Heavyweight Johnny Fisher (5-0, 4 KOs) looked terribly poor tonight in defeating journeyman Gabriel Enguiema (10-12, 6 KOs) by six round decision in the chief support bout. Cut in the first round over his left eye, the 22-year-old Fisher was totally exhausted after two rounds and spent rounds three through six fleeing from the 37-year-old Spaniard Enguiema. The referee scored the fight 59-55, which was a reasonable score but it doesn’t give a clear picture of how truly awful Fisher was tonight. The way he struggled tonight against Enguiema, there’s very little chance that he’ll improve enough to be a factor in the heavyweight division. If the goal is just to insert Fisher on domestic cards to sell tickets, he’ll do a good job of that. But if he’s put in with a halfway decent fighter, he’s going to lose.
- #14 IBF middleweight contender Felix Cash (15-0, 10 KOs) was forced to get up off the deck twice to defeat #3 WBA Magomed Madiev (15-1-2, 4 KOs) by a razor-thin 10 round unanimous decision. Not known for his power, Madiev dropped Cash in round two and ten. The scores were 95-92, 95-92, and 94-93.
- In a highly competitive fight, Ellie Scotney (4-0) outslugged the tough Jorgelina Guanini (9-4-2, 1 KOs) in winning a 10 round unanimous decision to capture the vacant female WBA International super bantamweight title.The scores: 96-94, 96-94, and 95-94.
- Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams (10-0, 8 KOs) overpowered the overmatched middleweight Javier Francisco Maciel (33-16, 23 KOs), stopping him in the sixth round in a three-knockdown performance. Maciel, 37, was down once in the first and twice more in the sixth before the contest was halted. Williams hurt Maciel with a right to the body followed by a left to the head to put him down for the first knockdown in the sixth. Moments later, the southpaw Williams dropped Maciej a second time. The loss for Maciej was his tenth straight.
- Super bantamweight Hopey Price (7-0, 2 KOs) kept his perfect record intact with a fourth round stoppage win over the always tough journeyman Ricardo ‘Bam Bam’ Roman (14-13-3, 5 KOs). The 21-year-old Hopey put Roman down in the first and fourth rounds to get the knockout.
Preview: Ryder will have crowd on his side
“He was there. I was expecting him to be a bit more vocal, and I suppose that he’s no dog at this stage. He’s seen it all before,” said John Ryder to Fighthype on his staredown with Jacobs.
“He’s been in head to head a lot bigger than this. Likewise, so have I. We know what’s on the line for both and it’s all going to be left in the ring,” said Ryder.
“2020-2021 were a s*** year for everyone, and we had to sit there and be ready at the end of 2021. We needed to figure something out and kick on my career.
“There were a few names listed, and Eddie came back with this [Jacobs], and it was like a dream come true. Once he said he could do it in London, it was even better.
“Massively, yeah,” said Ryder when asked if this fight is the equivalent of a world title match for him. “To get a big name like Danny Jacobs to the UK is a huge feat. Not just in London, it’s taking part at the Alexandra Palace, the heart of North London.
“I’m from Islington, and I got family [in the area]. It’s a real center point for people to come to meet, convene and have a good night of boxing.
“It’s nothing he hasn’t seen before,” said Ryder about Jacobs traveling to fight him in his backyard in London. “He’s fought Canelo Alvarez at the T-Mobile Arena [in Las Vegas, Nevada] in front of 20,000 screaming Mexicans.
“I’m pretty sure a few thousand [British boxing fans] aren’t going to be too bad for his blood. As I said, he’s [Jacobs] seen it all before. He’s a little too long in the tooth to be worried about a crowd.
“Likewise, they can’t get in there and help him, so it’s all down to us. I feel it’s like football with the 12th man, but listen, I’ve left no stone unturned in the camp. I’ve listened to my coaches, Tony Sims and Dan Lawrence.
Danny Jacobs vs. John Ryder uncard
Johnny Fisher (vs Gabriel Enguema
Felix Cash vs, Magomed Madiev
Ellie Scotney vs. Jorgelina Guanini
Austin Williams vs. Javier Maciel
Hopey Price vs. Ricardo Roman
Cyrus Pattinson vs. Evgenii Vazem
Shiloh Defreitas vs. Alexey Tukhtarov
“There was a great gym buzz. As I say, he’s long in the tooth in this game, and he knows how to fiddle through and work his way around,” said Ryder about Jacobs.
Ryder sees flaws in Jacobs’ game
“Judging by his last couple of performances, he’s not a massive work rate or high punch output. I just got to negate that a bit and get my own work rate off.
“He’s sensible, he’s clever, he uses the ring well, he rests when he wants to rest, and he likes to play to his pattern,” said Ryder on his Jacobs likes to perform.
“Yeah, I think he wants to rectify that,” said Ryder when asked if Jacobs will be trying to make up for his poor performance in his last fight against Gabe Rosado in November 2020.
“I fought behind closed doors in Miami and I had a bad performance myself. It’s about putting it right. We’ve got a big crowd there and there should be no excuses.
“I just feel like I’m 30 fights in with 5 losses. What rebuilding processes do I have left in me now? I’m 33 years of age, and I’ve got a partner and two children. How long can I keep putting them through this?
“Boxing is a very selfish sport, and at some point, I’m going to have to start putting their wishes first. But as long as I’m winning and doing well in this sport, it’ll continue, but then you got to start looking for what else is for you.
“It’s a bitter pill to swallow but everything for a reason, I believe,” said Ryder about his controversial loss to former WBA 168-lb champion Callum Smith in 2019.
“If I’d have won that night, who knows where I’d be right now. Would I still be boxing? Everything is for a reason, God’s plan has brought me to this fighting in front of my hometown. I’ve not been lucky enough to fight in London since 2018.
“I fought in the Copper Box last, and I’ve been on the road since then in Vegas, Liverpool, Miami, and Australia. It’s nice to be back in London in my hometown and what better opponent,” said Ryder.
John Ryder faces former IBF/WBA middleweight champion Danny ‘Miracle Man’ Jacobs tonight in a WBA 168lb title eliminator on DAZN at the Alexandra Palace, London, England.
The fight is taking place in Ryder’s backyard, and he’s expected to have thousands of his fans ringside to motivate him to get the W tonight against the 35-year-old former 160-lb champion Jacobs (37-3, 30 KOs).