By Barry Holbrook: John Ryder faces the hard-hitting former IBF/WBA middleweight champion Daniel ‘Miracle Man’ Jacobs this Saturday night on DAZN at the Alexandra Palace, Muswell Hill. Jacobs and Ryder will be headlining on Saturday, February 12th.
It’s a little surprising that DAZN hasn’t cut Jacobs loose after his poor effort against Gabriel Rosado in November 2020 and the fiasco against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in 2019.
Those were both fights that Jacobs wanted despite those two fighters not being relevant. Jacobs has got to look better againtRyder if he wants to be taken seriously as a potential world title challenger.
Does Jacobs have anything left?
Jacobs has looked uninspired in his performances and has been a disappointment in the opposition he’s faced since his loss to Canelo Alvarez in 2019.
Some boxing fans believe that Jacobs is only fighting for the paychecks now and not motivated any longer other than to try and get well-paying rematches with Canelo and Gennadiy Giolovkin.
Unless Canelo and GGG are only looking to play it safe, they’ve never going to fight Jacobs again because he’s done nothing with his career since they both beat him to make him a viable option.
Daniel has better hand speed and power than Ryder, but he’s looked lazy and timid in his last two fights. If Jacobs fights like that against Ryder, there’s a good chance he’ll lose.
Ryder, 33, will need to be on his A-game, particularly early in the contest because that’s when Jacobs is his most dangerous. Although Jacobs (37-3, 30 KOs) is getting up there at age 35, he can still punch.
Ryder (30-5,17 KOs) is probably thinking of crowding Jacobs to work him over on the inside in the same way he did in his fight with former WBA 168-lb champion CallumSmith.
Jacobs still has fast hands and reasonably good feet. He’sgoing to try and make Ryder work for everything he gets in this fight. It should be interesting to see if Ryder can wear down the former middleweight champion Jacobs.
Alexandra Palace, 2012 ⏮
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) February 8, 2022
Ryder needs the win
This might be the last chance for Ryder, and he can’t afford to lose if he wants to move up the super middleweight rankings to challenge for a world title against the undisputed 168-lb champion.
Canelo would be more likely to give Ryder than Jacobs because he’s never fought him before, and it’s a fight that will play out big in the UK.
Hearn says Jacobs is still in his prime
This week Ryder’s promoter Eddie Hearn claimed that Jacobs is still in his prime, which was a surprising comment because he’s nowhere near his peak. Jacobs was at his best from 2008 to 2009.
After Jacobs was knocked out in the fifth round by Dmitry Pirog in 2010, he burned through four years of facing largely tune-up opposition before beating Sergio Mora and Peter Quillin in back-to-back fights in 2015.
In 2016, Jacobs fought Gennady Golovkin and lost a 12 round unanimous decision. Despite fighting passively and giving away the first six rounds to Golovkin, Jacobs complained bitterly after the fight, believing he’d done enough to win the decision. He hadn’t, and he came across as a poor sport.
Jacobs had been dropped in the fourth by Golovkin and had failed to fight aggressively, which is why he lost. We saw the same thing in Jacobs’ loss to Canelo in 2019. He fought passively in the first half of the fight, dug himself a hole and his rally fell short.
Unlike Jacobs, Ryder has consistently performed well in his last seven fights and fought well enough to deserve winning the world title against the former WBA 168-lb champion Callum Smith.
What Ryder has going against him on Saturday night is his lack of punching power and hand speed. He doesn’t have the type of power to make Jacobs respect him.
For that reason, Ryder will need to put everything he has in his shots to keep Jacobs from walking him down and teeing off.