Daniel Jacobs vs. John Ryder Headlines Super Bowl Weekend + News & Notes
Daniel Jacobs vs. John Ryder
Saturday, February 12th, 11 am PST, DAZN
Daniel Jacobs vs. John Ryder, which is a 12-round super middleweight bout, should be a no-brainer for Daniel Jacobs to reintroduce himself to the world as a tour-de-force in the division, but rather sleepy performances, especially against Gabriel Rosado have some questioning his motivation.
John Ryder is the definition of hard-work beating talent, as Ryder is simply a brute, who is in shape, and his defense is his offense. Pressure, pressure, and more pressure. Ryder’s will and conditioning make him a world-level fighter, not his skills, which makes this bout interesting as that can be where Jacobs’ cuts corners.
In a perfect world, Jacobs beats Ryder, but does the Jacobs from the Gennady Golovkin fight still exist, because his fight against Gabriel Rosado would not be enough to beat John Ryder. Jacobs is back with the old gang, as Andre Rozier is his head coach once again, but this fight is all up to Daniel Jacobs. Jacobs has stated his desire to be a two-weight world champion this week, but like many successful people – we want to see a demonstration.
Felix Cash vs. Magomed Madiev will take place as a 10-round middleweight bout. As a lot of hope is being placed upon Cash to be one of the new great British fighters, but watching a small sample size online, Cash needs a lot of growth and development to be that as he has some defensive flaws, mainly focusing on his offense while forgetting about his defense.
Madiev is a undefeated Russian fighter, who hasn’t fought outside of Russia. His two draws stand out to an educated fight fan, one might assume that those bouts might have been even closer than a draw based on the location of the fight.
To me, both fighters are void of true identity in the ring, but Madiev seems more indecisive than Cash for what has brought him to this point. If Cash is the future of his division this is the type of fight where he needs to make a statement.
At just three fights into her career, Ellie Scotney is her first ten-round fight, and seems to be groomed to be a world champion by the end of the year. The IBF also has a vacant title in the women’s super bantamweight division as well – just saying. Her opponent, Jorgelina Guanini, is game, she fought Rachael Ball, but looking at her missed weight in the Ball fight, and not staying in one weight class – shows at the very least Guanini’s discipline outside of the gym is not that of a pro athlete for whatever reason, work, life, or what have you.
Heavyweight Johnny Fisher is a come-forward action fighter, who should get a quick KO on the undercard in a developmental fight. He should have some rock’em sock’em fights at the next couple of levels.
Hopey Price, yet another prospect from the U.K., who is being moved fast, and could be in a meaningful fight as soon as this summer or the end of the year. The talent is there with Price, we just have to see if he can keep people off them at the next level.
Also, Austin “Ammo” Williams will return on this card, against a developmental-level opponent. Ammo should look like a million bucks in this bout.
Friday, February 11th, ESPN+, 11 AM PST
MTK Global Fight Night will return with Danny Dignum vs. Grant Dennis in a British middleweight bout, as Dignum has made it clear he’d be open to fighting Felix Cash in the future. I am going to watch both fights and look at who looks better, or even world-level. Only so much time in a day, you got to find out where people stand right now. Dignum is the same spot as Cash, where he should look like a trillion bucks in this bout.
Lee McGregor is one of the most exciting young U.K. fighters and despite some flaws in defense based around his offensive mindset, he seems like a clear world-level fighter, as the Ben Davison trained fighter will face Diego Alberto Ruiz in a ten-round 118 lbs bout. McGregor was dropped in his last bout against undefeated Vincent Legrand, EBU super bantamweight belt. This should be a bounce-back fight for him as Ruiz has struggled with the top guys.
Credit to MTK for putting out a press release for Bec Connolly, a 3-11 fighter, who will face Team GB’s Nina Hughes, a women’s boxing bantamweight stud, who will be a world contender. I thought that was cool to see the bout getting both fighters sides on the story.
Former Top Rank fighter Jose Gonzalez, who is related to world champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez and Cristofer Rosales, returns at the Amazura Concert Hall, Queens, New York. In Gonzalez’s last fight he won the WBC super bantamweight Latino title.
Jose “Karma” Alvarado, who is with Toscano Boxing Promotions, will be fighting a developmental opponent on Saturday. Alvarado is building his record up to get a televised fight in the next year or two.
The Montgomery brothers, Maliek Montgomery and Mikhail Montgomery will be fighting in separate bouts in Florida. An interesting fighter to keep your eye on Marlon Kelly, a middleweight, who is a bit older, has an interesting trait for a prospect, could be a sleeper if he stays active, Kelly has had seven fights in two years, Saturday will be his eighth.
Reshad Hicks of Texas will be in action this weekend, a solid fighter looking to make a comeback after a loss on DAZN a few years ago.
Francis Hogan, a/k/a “Frank The Tank”, will now headline a card in the Northeast. Hogan is a big ticket-seller and is staying really active.
Canelo seems to be be close to a deal with DAZN to fight Dmitry Bivol, and if Canelo were to win he’d face Gennaidy Golovkin in a trilogy bout. The ugly part – DAZN seems to be looking at putting the fights on PPV. Something that might hurt their base as I am not sure all the subscribers will keep the service.
A clash between Errol Spence Jr. vs Yordenis Ugas is now set for April 16th. Tickets are now on-sale, no news of the broadcast information is out yet.
Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano have gone a global media tour ahead of their fight, and have been the biggest story in the first quarter so far. The level of attention and interest in this fight is a true kickstart to women’s boxing. This week’s tabloid story was Serrano wanting the bout to have three-minute rounds as opposed to two-minute rounds, Taylor has declined. I think the story is a bit misleading as more than likely the sanctioning bodies wouldn’t approve the fight if it were contested under different rules.
Multiple-time French Olympian Sofiane Oumiha will turn pro on Tony Yoka’s next card, that fight will be on May 14th.
Super middleweights Evgeny Shvedenko, who is ranked by the IBF at number three and has been mandatory for well over a year now, has a new opponent in William Scull, the number tenth-ranked fighter in the division, being that they are the two highest available challengers In the IBF ratings, the winner will be mandatory for Canelo Alvarez’s IBF super-middleweight world title.
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MMA In 500 Words Or Less
Middleweight UFC champ Israel Adesanya will rematch Robert Whittaker, the man he beat to win the middleweight world title, roughly two-and-a-half years ago, in a pre-COVID world.
The bout which was the biggest fight in Oceania history saw New Zealand’s Adesanya knockout Australia’s Whittaker, now they will do it again on PPV.
Adesanya, a star for the UFC, saw some of his star power diminish as he lost to a goofy, big white guy in Jan Blachowicz, who simply was too big and took him down. Though you can’t fault someone for trying to be great, it also felt, like Adesanya took the first step out of the hall-of-fame, and into the hall-of-very-good with that performance. For me, this will be a telling fight for Adesanya, who has been a star up until this point, but now has to face adversity, and come back from a loss – against a fighter, who spent a couple of years rallying to get back to this spot.
Adesanya has the traits of an all-time great, but with his cocky and brash schtick, you have to win – and moving up, to get seemingly outmuscled left a feeling of impending dread as it felt like a foreshadowing of his future if things didn’t change.
Whittaker, a former champion in this very division and Ultimate Fighter winner, is a barrel-chested man, with a big punch and well-rounded skill set. Though his title run, might be remembered in a vein as Benson Henderson’s lightweight run, not memorable, Whittaker is world-class, and more so, seems very reflective and honest to his previous loss. This fight will define the narrative around the first fight the two had.
Will the story be Adesanya was just too explosive, or will it be Whittaker was overlooking the young star, and then in due time, was able to adjust to what he brings after growing as a person?
Derrick Lewis vs Tai Tuivasa, serves as the co-main event, as a battle of two lovable heavyweights in the co-main event, as Tuivasa explained he accepted this fight drunk. Tuivasa is also a friend of current lightweight world champion, George Kambosos Jnr. and Tuivasa is best known for brawling and drinking beer out of a shoe after he wins.
Lewis will be fighting in his hometown of Houston, Texas, and will also be carrying the burden of losing in his last bout Ciryl Gane for an interim heavyweight title which was the last time he fought in Houston. For Lewis, this is not just redemption this also could step-up another chance for a world title, as he holds a win over the current champ, Francis Ngannou. More so, Lewis, probably the most popular heavyweight in the UFC, might get a shot at the interim heavyweight title if Ngannou doesn’t fight again this year.
Lewis is a likable MMA fighter, who has a humorous personality, that has made him a cult-like celebrity in the MMA community.
Outside of the main two fights, a middleweight bout between Jared Cannonier vs. Derek Brunson could create the next contender to challenge for the UFC middleweight world title which is being fought for at the top of the card. Cannonier, an oversized middleweight who shrunk down from heavyweight to light heavyweight and now is a massive middleweight, will face the wrestling heavy, Brunson, who is riding the best win streak of his career, of five-fights.
Cannonier holds wins over Jack Hermansson, Anderson Silva, and Kelvin Gastelum while losing to the current contender, Robert Whittaker. Brunson beat Kevin Holland, and Darren Till. This will either be a wrestling heavy affair or a brutal KO.
Bobby Green will fight on the PPV opener. Green is one of the most interesting personalities in MMA and is one of the most exciting fighters in the sport. If you haven’t watched him fight, it is well worth seeing.
ESPN undercard – 5 PM PST
Andrei Arlovski will fight on the ESPN portion of this card. I first started watching the UFC in 2004 or 2005, when Arlovski was one of the guys. Arlovski, a heavyweight is fighting, 18-years later. That is such a crazy fact to me.
Roxanne Modafferi will be fighting in her last UFC fight on ESPN undercard. Modafferi has been an amazing ambassador of the sport and just a great person. We wish her the best in her final fight.
Alexander Hernandez vs.Renato Moicano is buried on the deep prelims early in the night. Hernandez, a fighter with a lively personality, and a body-builder-like look, has lost to the top-tier guys he has faced such as Donald Cerrone and Drew Dober. Hernandez needs to look impressive since he has a lot of potential.