Daniel Jacobs returns to the ring this Saturday to face off with John Ryder in a showdown from London’s Alexandra Palace. The fight is the first for Jacobs since November 2020 and a must-win bout if Jacobs hopes to ever return to world title contention.
Jacobs’ most recent fight was a victory over Gabe Rosado, though not a win without controversy. The bout with Rosado was a dreadful affair, slow and dull before Jacobs (37-3, 30 KO) was awarded a split decision victory. To say the decision could have gone Rosado’s way is something of an understatement.
Jacobs is now riding a two-fight winning streak, the Rosado win coming after Jacobs forced Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. to quit on his stool in their December 2019 clash. The Chavez fight was Jacobs’ comeback from losing his IBF middleweight title to Canelo Alvarez and a fight where Jacobs moved up to super middleweight.
Jacobs will be fighting in Europe for the first time in his pro career, heading into the backyard of Ryder (30-5, 17 KO), a fighter who is longer-tenured at 168 pounds even fighting as high as light heavyweight.
Ryder is coming off a pair of wins, having decisioned Mike Guy before stopping Jozef Jurko this past September. Similar to Jacobs, Ryder’s current two-fight winning streak came after losing a world title bout. Ryder faced Callum Smith in November 2019, losing a fairly wide decision on the cards, though many, if not most, observers felt Ryder had done enough to become a world champion.
Ryder and Jacobs now clash (3 p.m. ET, DAZN) with both men needing a win to remain in the conversation for bigger opportunities down the road, especially Jacobs, whose prime is behind him and with age catching up to him.
Assuming Jacobs isn’t worn down by more than a year out of action, he should still be the better fighter of the two men. The Rosado bout is a big red flag for Jacobs as his passivity was near an all-time high. Ryder can fall into his own passive traps, however, which he’ll have to avoid if he wants to take advantage of Jacobs falling into those old patterns. Still, when making a prediction between these types of fighters, you go with the proven talent and Jacobs is well proven as a talent who beats fighters of Ryder’s level. If Jacobs isn’t completely shot, this is the kind of fight he win