John Ryder (31-5, 17 KOs) shifted to a different gear to come back and defeat Daniel Jacobs (37-4, 30 KOs) by a 12 round split decision on Saturday night in their WBA super middleweight title eliminator at the Alexandra Palace in London.
The fight looked as good as lost for the 33-year-old Ryder through seven rounds, but he came on strong in the eighth round to stun the former IBF/WBA 160-lb champion ‘Miracle Man’ Jacobs with hard punches.
Jacobs had looked good through the first half of the fight, using his powerful pinpoint punches, clinching, and movement to stymie ‘The Gorilla’ Ryder.
The scores were:
- 115-113 – Ryder
- 115-113 – Ryder
- 115-113 – Jacobs
The 35-year-old Jacobs looked his age in the championship rounds, as he was VERY tired and he lost a lot of the zip on his shots.
Although Jacobs did occasionally show glimpses of the power that he’d had in the earlier rounds, he couldn’t do it consistently.
Moreover, the excessive holding that Jacobs was doing to stop Ryder from getting his shots off it also ruined his chances to win the crucial final four rounds.
You can see why two of the judges gave Ryder the victory, as he was making the fight, pressuring and throwing shots.
It looked like Jacobs’ intent was to spoil and run out the clock in each round. Daniel was too obvious about what his focus was, and the judges made him pay for that ploy.
“The first half of the fight was won by Daniel Jacobs, and the second half of the fight was won by John Ryder,” said Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn after the contest.
“It looked like he [Ryder] was starting to hurt Daniel Jacobs, and you looked for him to land more shots. Jacobs came back to nick the eleventh, it was a very close fight.
“John Ryder has been on the backend of some tight decisions, and has never really got them against Rocky Fielding, Callum Smith. He never seemed to get one. Tonight, he got one that could have gone the other way.
“It’s one that perhaps in America, Daniel Jacobs would have got the nod, but here, John Ryder got the nod. The noise and the pressure came from him. The quality work early on came from Daniel Jacobs, but it was a very, very close fight.
“Sometimes just because you’ve been on the end of bad decisions doesn’t mean you deserve to get a decision. Sometimes you get fortunate. Again, it was literally a fight that had a round in either way. Tonight, John Ryder got that decision.
“Interestingly, the British judge scored it two rounds for Daniel Jacobs, and the American judge scored it one or two rounds for John Ryder.
“The French judge scored it for John Ryder as well. It could have gone either way. It was a good fight in the second half. The first half was cagey. You were waiting for it to catch fire and it did, especially in rounds 7,8, 9, and 10.
“Both guys engaged and it was a good fight. Tony and everyone calls out Canelo, and they should rightfully chase that fight. I don’t think that’s going to happen in the immediate future, but certainly, Canelo Alvarez wants to box in England at some point in his career and John Ryder would be the top of that list.
“There’s not too many super middleweights in the world that have a win like Danny Jacobs on their record. He has two defeats on his resume in Gennady Golovkin in a close fight and Canelo Alvarez. That was a massive win for John Ryder.
“I don’t think there’s anybody in boxing that knows John Ryder doesn’t feel like his opportunity is here. He’s been grafting in the game for a long, long time, sometimes without success and sometimes without opportunity. Tonight, he got his opportunity,” said Hearn about Ryder.