WITH a split decision victory over Danny Jacobs in London on Saturday, John Ryder believes he’s opened a path to more major super-middleweight fights, and maybe even one day a shot at global superstar Canelo Alvarez.
“There’s great fights in the super-middleweight division. You’ve got great former champions, [Caleb] Plant, [David] Benavidez, there’s big fights out there. We haven’t got to wait round for Canelo to decide what he’s going to do. There’s big fights to be had and I’m sure that in time hopefully the belts become vacant. But let’s not wait round for him, let’s get big fights made,” Ryder said afterwards. “I feel like I’ve joined an elite club now that I’ve beat Danny Jacobs. Take the [Dmitry] Pirog fight out of it, he’s been beaten on points by Gennady Golovkin, Canelo Alvarez and myself now.”
The Jacobs fight was close but Ryder notes, “I always felt like I had my nose in front.”
“I need to watch it back but I felt like I was always in control, I didn’t feel like I was ever hurt in the fight,” he continued. “People said the first six rounds, the majority was his. I kicked on second half of the fight. Did what I had to do.
“He was throwing the odd body shot that was quite hard to defend against, that put me out of my stride a bit. But other than I felt like I had a lot of success. I felt like I was beating him to the jab. I was slipping most of his jabs and getting out the way of most of his stuff.
“I felt his power early and I didn’t feel it was anything to worry about too much. I could see a lot of his shots coming. Obviously I didn’t get out the way of everything but I could see the majority of what he was throwing.
“In your mind you play things over. You get in there I thought I wonder how strong Danny is going to be on the inside. You get in there and straightaway you think, ‘He ain’t so bad.’ You realise that you can have your way with him.”
It was made all the sweeter for Ryder getting this victory in London. “I think it was beneficial having the hometown support. It’s a fight I would have been more than happy to travel to Brooklyn, New York, Madison Square Garden, wherever. Listen, a fighter of that calibre deserves respect and they deserve to have it in their backyard. Eddie [Hearn] massively delivered for me tonight and got me a legend of the sport like Danny Jacobs into my hometown,” John said. “These are the nights we want and the big names, I feel like they’ve evaded me for a while. When I’ve had these big nights, I feel like I’ve been on the wrong end of them. So tonight is my night and I’m going to enjoy it, I’m going to take it in, embrace it and remember it for the rest of my life.
“I’m up there now. I feel like I’ve got the career-defining win that’s evaded me for so long.”