Matchroom’s first UK card of the year takes place at Alexandra Palace in North London this Saturday night, with John Ryder taking on former world champion, Daniel Jacobs, who travels over from the USA for this WBA super middleweight title eliminator.
Jacobs vs Ryder will be broadcast worldwide on DAZN.
For Ryder (30-5, 17 KOs) this fight represents his biggest opportunity, and arguably his toughest test to date.
‘The Gorilla’ has had an up and down career, but is coming into form at a higher level, with six wins coming in his last seven fights.
After losing to Rocky Fielding via split decision in a bid for the British title in 2017, the Islington man went on a four-fight knockout spree, halting Patrick Nielsen (KO5), Jamie Cox (KO2), Andrey Sirotkin (TKO7) and Bilal Akkaway (TKO3), with the win over Akkaway giving him the interim WBA title, which in turn earned him a world title shot against Callum Smith.
Ryder exceeded expectations, and many thought he had done enough to win, but the scorecards were heavily in Smith’s favour, handing him a fifth career loss.
The 33-year-old has only boxed twice since that November 2019 night, taking a ten round decision against Mike Guy in December 2020, and his last contest was in September 2021, stopping Jozef Jurko in five.
Brooklynite Jacobs (37-3, 30 KOs) is an entirely different prospect for Ryder, and he comes into this one as a former two-time middleweight champion, and he has also won a battle with cancer after 18 months away from the sport in 2011.
The ‘Miracle Man’ has come up short in decent efforts against both Gennady Golovkin in 2017, and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in 2019, defeated on the cards in close verdicts.
Since the Alvarez loss, Jacobs, 35, moved up a weight, and after a fifth round retirement win over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, his last outing came in November 2020, when he was pushed to the wire by the underrated Gabriel Rosado, winning a split decision.
Prediction: I think Ryder’s best performance was against Smith, and I feel that the Liverpudlian underestimated his opponent that night. I don’t think Jacobs will make the same mistake, and I expect him to stamp his authority early, and force a stoppage after the halfway mark.
Cash meets Madiev
Felix Cash will be keen to build on a career-best performance last time out, and he takes on Magomed Madiev over ten, with the vacant WBC International middleweight title on the line.
Cash (14-0, 10 KOs) added the British title to his Commonwealth strap in April last year, stopping Denzel Bentley in three rounds, and he will want to make 2022 the year where he kicks on.
The 28-year-old must first deal with the unbeaten Madiev (15-0-2, 4 KOs), who fights outside of his native Russia for the first time.
Prediction: Cash should bank ten rounds here, and can take a clear decision win.
Ellie Scotney (3-0) fights for a title for the first time as a professional, and the Catford native can take the vacant WBA Intercontinental super bantamweight title on the cards over ten against Argentina’s Jorgelina Guanini (9-3-2, 1 KO). Guanini hasn’t won in her last three, but has never been stopped.
Another talent in action is Hopey Price (6-0, 2 KOs) and the Leeds super bantamweight can take out Ricardo Roman (14-12-3, 5 KOs) inside the eight round distance.
Middleweight Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams (9-0, 7 KOs) can score another early win, this time against the experienced Javier Francisco Maciel (33-15, 23 KOs) although the Argentine has only been halted twice in 15 losses.
Popular heavyweight, Johnny Fisher (4-0, 4 KOs) can keep his knockout run going against Gabriel Enguema (10-11, 6 KOs), and Cyrus Pattinson (2-0, 1 KO) can also enjoy an early night in his welterweight contest with Evgenii Vazem (9-21, 4 KOs).
Much-touted prospect, Shiloh Defreitas (2-0, 2 KOs) also makes an appearance, and the London welterweight can stop Alexey Tukhtarov (4-23-6, 3 KOs) inside schedule.