All eyes are on north London’s Alexandra Palace this weekend as big time boxing returns to the iconic venue for the first time in a long time!
It’s Daniel Jacobs v John Ryder on Saturday night in a super-middleweight fight that has the ingredients to be a banger.
Jacobs is nearing the end of a remarkable career – one that saw the “Miracle Man” survive cancer to return as a world champion – and John Ryder could well be a sleeping giant at 168lbs, still reeling from a controversial loss to Callum Smith in 2019.
Who will take the spoils on top of Muswell Hill this weekend?
Fighting on away soil
Daniel Jacobs (37-3) is a fighter that is used to home comforts.
The American hasn’t fought outside of the United States since a 2014 trip to Puerto Rico, and despite his friendly persona, will be the villain inside the boisterous Ally Pally.
At 35, there is a question mark hanging over the head of Jacobs regarding what he has left to offer the sport.
His last outing was far from convincing, winning a disputed split decision against Gabriel Rosado back in 2020, his second fight at super-middleweight following a jump up from 160lbs after a loss to Canelo Alvarez.
Jacobs is a slick boxer with underrated power, but against a pressure fighter like Ryder will have to be switched on for every second of the scheduled 36 minutes.
Ryder’s big moment?
John Ryder (30-5) is enjoying somewhat of an Indian Summer following a career at domestic level.
The “Gorilla” has early defeats on his record to the likes of Nick Blackwell, Jack Arnfield, Billy Joe Saunders and Rocky Fielding, but it’s his most recent defeat to Callum Smith in 2019 that underlined his threat at super-middleweight.
Ryder was unlucky not to be crowned world champion that evening in Liverpool, with judges Francisco Alloza Rosa, Terry O’Connor and Jose Roberto Torres seeing the fight a lot different to those in attendance.
Ryder is an excellent front-foot pressure fighter and will look to wear Jacob’s down and get on his chest all evening.
The Islington fighter will have the Alexandra Palace crowd in his corner on Saturday night and Jacobs could be there for the taking after over a year of inactivity.
At 12/5 with bet365 for a decision call on home soil, it’s hard not to side with John Ryder on Saturday night.
The “Gorilla” is reaching his peak in the sport whereas Jacobs is on the decline – a loss for the American could result in retirement if the hunger is no longer there.
Ryder’s style is pleasing on the eye and if he can chase the “Miracle Man” down for 12 rounds could well get a favourable decision inside the Palace.