One of the sayings that comes up often in other sports is that, sometimes, the ball bounces your way.
In boxing, the variation would probably be that sometimes the cards bounce your way.
In November 2019, John Ryder gave then-WBA and Ring magazine super middleweight titlist Callum Smith hell. Many thought Ryder did enough to win. All three judges disagreed. The cards bounced to Smith.
In his last start, the cards bounced toward Daniel Jacobs. In a tougher fight than he likely expected, Jacobs won a split decision over Gabe Rosado that could easily have come out different.
On Saturday, Ryder was fighting for his fistic life against former middleweight titlist Daniel Jacobs. At 33, already with five losses, Ryder is not a fighter with a lot of margin of error. After seeming to fall behind early, Ryder rallied in the second half and did enough to get two of the judges to lean his way. Many might disagree, but it’s kind of how boxing goes sometimes.
This one was about the bounce. Ryder moves on to another day.
Futures: For Jacobs, this loss stings. While he can take solace that many thought he deserved the win, at 35 it is a step backward. Since moving to super middleweight, Jacobs hasn’t appeared to be of the same form he had at middleweight and now time is working against him. Jacobs still has name value in the States and would be an attractive opponent for a number of super middleweights. If he can find his way into the ring with a David Benavidez or David Morrell, for instance, Jacobs can have a chance to make a big move before time runs out.
For Ryder, one assumes Morrell could be an option. Ryder is unlikely to be in the plans for Saul Alvarez anytime soon, if ever, no matter what position he can get to with a sanctioning body. There was talk of Ryder-Morrell previously and while that version of the WBA belt is as paper as it gets, it has some political value. Ryder could also be an interesting opponent one class up in a rematch with Callum Smith.
Regardless of where he goes, Ryder has the winner's options. He’ll take the bounce.
Felix Cash survived and that’s enough for one day. Still, two knockdowns will raise eyebrows. We don’t know yet if this is a real contender or a pretender…Lee McGregor is still learning on the job but his upside is strong...We know the Los Angeles Rams are not pretenders. Congrats to the new Super Bowl champs…Big news out of the weekend has us closer to a light heavyweight clash between Artur Beterbiev and Joe Smith Jr. Beterbiev should be favored but that match is just all sorts of violent on paper so fans should win…Someone is fudging about offers on the George Kambosos-Davin Haney front. It’s just another fight that looks like it isn’t happening at lightweight. The division specializes in that right now.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.