John Ryder’s 12 round split decision victory over Daniel ‘Miracle Man’ Jacobs last Saturday night makes him the mandatory challenger to WBA ‘regular’ super middleweight champion David Morrell Jr., not for Canelo Alvarez’s ‘Super World’ strap with that sanctioning body.
Going into last Saturday’s Jacobs vs. Ryder WBA 168-lb title eliminator fight, the winner would be mandatory to Canelo’s WBA super middleweight title, but that’s not the case. It’s for the WBA ‘regular’ title held by the unbeaten Cuban talent David Morrell Jr. (6-0, 5 KOs).
Morrell Jr, 24, will be defending against #1 WBA Aidos Yerbossynuly (16-0, 11 KOs) next. The winner of that fight will be the champion that Ryder (31-5, 17 KOs) challenges for the title this year instead of Canelo.
In hindsight, it probably doesn’t matter that Ryder is mandatory for David Morrell Jr’s WBA title rather than Canelo. It’s not as if Canelo was ever going to defend his WBA title against Ryder. If the WBA ordered Canelo to defend against Ryder, he likely would vacate it.
That’s good for Canelo obviously, but bad for Ryder because his chances of beating Morrell Jr. are slim. Unlike the 35-year-old Jacobs (37-4, 30 KOs), Morrell Jr. isn’t in his mid-30, inactive and ring rusty.
Ryder, 33, rallied to defeat Jacobs by a 12 round split decision in their WBA ‘regular’ super middleweight title eliminator in the main event on DAZN at the Alexandra Palace, London, England.
The scores were 115-113, 115-113 for Ryder, and 115-113. Many boxing fans felt that Jacobs had done enough to win a close decision, but two of the judges gave it to Ryder.
Ryder: Did Jacobs overlook me?
“12 years deep, and I got my career-best win thus far,” said John Ryder to iFL TV on his win over Daniel Jacobs. “Listen, Danny Jacobs is a great fighter.
“I didn’t really know what to expect from Danny tonight,” said Ryder. “That’s why I said to him yesterday, ‘Please be at your best, and don’t overlook me.’ I don’t know. Did he overlook me? Has he seen better day? He probably has. He’s had a long time out of the ring.
“Like I said, tonight was my night. I’m going to savor the moment and embrace it. I live to fight another day.
“Per WBA, Jacobs-Ryder was an eliminator to fight the winner of a fight between ‘regular’ titlist David Morrell and current mandatory challenger Aidos Yerbossynuly. It was NOT an eliminator for Canelo’s ‘super title,'” said Dan Rafael on Twitter.
“I thought the fight was closer than I thought it was, but I came away victorious. I’ve been on the wrong end of some decisions in the past, so I’m just buzzing that tonight was my night.
“This was the sweetest night of all,” said Ryder. “I put a lot of pressure on myself tonight. If it had been a defeat tonight, I would have had no place to go. I’m 33-years-old now. I don’t feel like I could be dropping back down to six or eight-rounders, low down on cards.
“I’ve lived to see another day and hopefully get another world title shot, so I’m pleased. I look forward to what’s next. There was no urgency in the corner,” said Ryder about his thoughts after the sixth round when it was clear that he was losing to Jacobs.
“I felt it was important to tighten up in early doors to see what’s had. His power wasn’t really causing any problems. I could see a lot of what was coming and I did well with it.
“In mid-rounds, I started getting my body shots off and I started hurting him to the body. I’ve seen him fight in the past where he fights tall and leans back from the shots.
“He didn’t really get off today, which was good and I was able to land quite clean. It’s hard to know,” said Ryder when asked if he felt he had Jacobs hurt in the eighth. “Fighters like Danny, they’re world-level fighters and they’re good at hiding it.
“They’ve got good poker faces. He’s been in with Canelo, Golovkin, and they couldn’t get him out of there. I didn’t think I was going to blast him out of there, but I had him hurt at times. He’s an old dog, he gets through it. He fiddles and grabs.
“Fighters like him, when they’re hurt, that’s when they’re at their most dangerous. So you got to throw caution to the wind at times and not get too carried away.