John Ryder beats Daniel Jacobs in a controversial split decision at Alexandra Palace in the UK.
The fighter from London claimed victory on Saturday night at Alexandra Palace, making him the mandatory challenger for the WBA “regular” super-middleweight champion David Morrell Jr.
Neither man could afford to lose, that’s how it was built up in fight week. The winner kept their world title hopes alive at 168lbs. The loser…well it’s a long road back.
Ryder noted in the build-up to the fight: “the loser is done”. With so much pressure being put on this fight, the 33-year-old knew he had to give it his all to beat the former world champion Jacobs and keep his career alive.
Though it was Jacobs who started off the better of the two. Jacobs showed off his long-range boxing ability in the first half of the fight, staying safe behind the jab and drawing Ryder onto his right hand.
This was a continuous theme throughout the first 6 rounds. Many fans believed Jacobs had a comfortable lead coming into round 7, arguably winning all of the previous rounds.
By this point, Ryder had to up his work rate. After a sluggish opening, he needed to get into a rhythm in the 7th round, cover the distance between him and Jacobs, and then let his hands go on the inside.
Ryder came out with a different look about him, there was more energy in him. As he began to throw in level changes and step in with a straight left to the body, he drove back Jacobs.
For some reason or another Jacobs switched to southpaw, maybe it was to match Ryder. He is more than capable of fighting out of both stances, but on Saturday night Ryder saw success when the Americans fought out of the southpaw stance.
Ryder rallied himself to defeat Jacobs and he sent him home back to the U.S feeling disappointed and hard done by due to the decision.
Many boxing fans felt that Jacobs had done enough to win a close decision, but two of the judges gave it to Ryder.
The scorecards read 115-113 x2 Ryder, 115-113 Jacobs.
Saturday night belonged to Ryder. Now he has a shot to become WBA “regular” super-middleweight champion, after claiming his career-best victory.
“12 years deep, and I got my career-best win thus far,” said John Ryder.
Is this the fight that boosts Ryder’s confidence? After suffering a bitterly disappointing defeat himself against Callum Smith for a world title a few years back, maybe this is the wake-up call that Ryder needed.
We now know what the future holds for John Ryder, what does the future hold for Daniel Jacobs after this disappointing defeat on away soil?
Also, read: TOP 10 MOST DANGEROUS BOXERS OF ALL TIME