We got the upset last night, as star fighter and former champ Danny Jacobs dropped a split decision against a determined John Ryder. The split decision that went Ryder’s way – 115-113, 115-113 for Ryder, the same score for Jacobs via the third judge – in the WBA super-middleweight eliminator is still causing debate in terms of who deserved the victory, but nothing can be taken away from Ryder. The southpaw from London said he would win the fight and he did it. Now 31-5(17) Ryder has some big fights to look forward to; maybe one against WBA ‘regular’ champ David Morrell, maybe even one against superstar Canelo Alvarez.
Eddie Hearn said after last night’s fight how Ryder will “hopefully now get his shot.” Ryder was beaten by Callum Smith in a November 2019 WBA 168 pound title challenge and he has now won three in a row. It’s a great story, as Hearn said last night. Can Ryder become world champion at age 33? Maybe he can.
But what about former two-time middleweight champ Jacobs? Now 37-4(30), “The Miracle Man” felt he was hard done by on the cards last night, and he may well call for a rematch. But Jacobs’ immediate future appears unclear. How much has Jacobs got at age 35? Jacobs was hoping to score a big win last night and then move into a return fight with Canelo (who decisioned the New Yorker in a reasonably close fight back in May of 2019). The rematch looks to have next to no chance of ever taking place now.
Jacobs looks sharp last night yet he allowed Ryder to get into the fight at the halfway stage, this after Jacobs had dominated things. Jacobs got the star treatment upon arriving in the UK, with Hearn saying more than once how it was “an honour” to have Jacobs boxing in London. But in the end, though the fight was mighty close, Jacobs didn’t deliver.
Big congratulations to John Ryder. Let’s all get behind him and support him as he goes for world glory a second time. What a great story it would be if Ryder could do it at this stage of his 12-year pro career.