By Barry Holbrook: John Ryder (31-5, 17 KOs) was victorious on Saturday night with his 12 round split decision win over Daniel Jacobs (37-4, 30 KOs) in a WBA 168lb title eliminator and now he’s ready for a title shot against champion Canelo Alvarez. The scores were 115-113, 115-113 for Ryder, and 115-113 for Jacobs.
Fighting in front of a large crowd at the Alexandre Palace in London, Ryder wore down ‘The Miracle Man’ Jacobs with his pressure and made him look like an old 35 in the second half of the contest.
The scores from the judges left some boxing fans feeling like Ryder had been given a controversial 12 round split decision, but Jacobs didn’t look like the winner. Jacobs was totally exhausted in the last five rounds and was just holding and moving.
Ryder, 33, is the WBA mandatory to Canelo now, and it’s going to be up to him if he wants to defend the belt.
It would be a shame if Canelo decides to give up the WBA belt rather than defending it against Ryder, but you can understand why he might do that.
Ryder’s game plan was to start slow
“I’m on cloud nine. Danny Jacobs had a great career, and it’s a great scalp for my career,” said Ryder at the post-fight press conference on Saturday night following his win over Jacobs.
“Me and Tony had worked on the game plan of being cautious in the first few to see what he had,” said Ryder on why he started slowly against Jacobs.
“In the first three rounds, we saw that he didn’t have too much, and his power wasn’t anything to be too afraid of. We obviously had to give him respect. The idea was to tie him up in the first half and then stick it on him in the second.
“I thought we had a lot of success. The judge’s scores were a little closer than what thought. I thought I won and won pretty convincingly,” said Ryder.
“It was massive for my life because I’ve not achieved nowhere near what Danny Jacobs has. Danny Jacobs can go fight Jake Paul and make millions of pounds. I’ve not got the resume that he’s got,” said Ryder.
If the game plan for Ryder was to fight slowly in the first two or three rounds, it wouldn’t have been a big deal.
But in Ryder’s case, he fought slowly in the first seven rounds and gave away a sizable chunk of the fight by doing that.
Father time caught up to Jacobs
“A defeat would have left me wanting for more,” Ryder continued. “I’d have got nowhere to go. There’s still stuff out there for Danny Jacobs. He’s got a great resume and a great career.
“I’m sure there are other options out there for him, but tonight is my night and I’m going to embrace it,” said Ryder.
“Father time catches up to everyone, and he’s not been so active over the last could of years. Neither have I. We boxed on the same card in 2019, and I’ve only had one more fight since that time.
“He’s been out of the ring for 16 months, and I’ve only been out for five. I think that’s helped. I’m always in the gym, I’m always ticking over. You come in there and I’m part of the furniture now.
“I’m always in the gym, I’m always keeping fit. I’m learning with age not to overdo it now and me and Tony have found a common ground of when to train and when to pull back and when to push.
“Danny is an old school fighter as well, and I think he was ready to dig deep and go to the trenches. Tony always breathes that into us, so it stood me in good stead tonight.
“It’s been really frustrating. I’m seeing people in the gym getting opportunities and I’m not envious. I wish them well. Boxing is not changing in the sport, and you’ve got to keep up with the times,” Ryder said.
Jacobs definitely looked like an old 35, and wasn’t the same guy that have given Canelo problems in 2019, and Gennady Golovkin in 2016. Being out of the ring for two years obviously didn’t help Jacobs. That was a crazy idea on his part to do that.
John hopes to get a title shot
“I’ve been on the road since 2018 now, and I was lucky enough to box in Vegas on the Jacobs and Canelo undercard, then in Liverpool against Smith,” said Ryder. “Then a year later, I was in Miami and Australia.
“It’s been some tough years of traveling, but it’s nice to be back home in 2022 to headline a shot. Hopefully, it’s a good start for me to go and get another big fight this year.
“The crowd really helped,” said Ryder when told that his performance tonight was different than what we’d seen from him in his last two fights.
“Like I said, these behind closed doors throw out some odd results. The fight between Gabe Rosado and Danny Jacobs was a low burner that didn’t get to light. A crowd can really help.
“I hope I get a world title shot. I have to watch that performance back and see how good or bad it was. Canelo is the man of the moment, and he’s going to do what he wants to do.
“I enjoy watching him. I’m a fan of the sport. Whatever he decides to do, I’m happy as a fan, but as an active fighter, I’d love my shot.
“Thank you for turning out. It’s been a great night, and a long 12 years, ups and downs, highs and lows.
“That’s something to be glorious. Back home to the Hilton to pack my bags and get back home to bed and wake up with the kids in the morning. So a rock star lifestyle,” said Ryder.
It’s unlikely that Canelo will give Ryder a title shot in 2022 because he’s likely to agree to the two-fight deal being offered to him by Eddie Hearn.