In a rather unexpected turn of events, Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix reports that super middleweights Daniel Jacobs and John Ryder are in “advanced negotiations” to face off early next year.
It’s a bit of an understatement to say that the road to this one has been winding. Ryder (29-5, 16 KO) got the order to face WBA “world” super middleweight champion David Morrell way back in January, but the fight never materialized. Eddie Hearn instead repeatedly named Ryder as a potential challenger for Dmitry Bivol, which also never panned out, leaving “The Gorilla” to stay busy against designated loser Jozef Jurko last September
Speaking of things failing to pan out, the inactive Jacobs (37-3, 30 KO) was lined up to face fellow New Yorker Joe Smith Jr. sometime next year after Smith defended his newly won WBO light heavyweight title against Umar Salamov. Smith wound up catching COVID, while Salamov ran into visa issues and instead unsuccessfully challenged Dmitry Bivol for the WBA belt last weekend. Smith’s now slated to face Callum Johnson in January setting the table for this matchup.
It’s good on paper, but neither man is far removed from the most boring performance of his career, so it’s hard to get too excited. Hopefully it’ll turn out better than expected.