JOHN RYDER snatched the Miracle Man mantle from Danny Jacobs with a comeback that saved his career.
At his local Ally Pally Stadium, the 33-year-old Islington ace threw the first six rounds at the visiting American.
But the left-hander rallied heroically in the second half and made up for the cruel 2019 world title loss he suffered when he boldly went to Liverpool and Callum Smith made a tough decision at home.
Jacobs, 35, had been out of the ring for over a year but took the lead by crushing a dormant Ryder.
But he turned it around and kept his world super middleweight title dream alive by digging in and recovering a split decision after all three ringside judges scored the fight 115-113 Jacobs and 115-113 twice for Ryder.
Jacobs flushed Ryder’s nose with a stiff right hand in game one, silencing the crowd and the local backed off when another right slammed into his ribcage.
The Brooklyn ace was confident enough to switch positions in the second and cracked Ryder with a left right hook.
Ryder’s first real success was a similar shot that grazed the two-time world champion’s temple.
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Ryder was cut with an arrow for a straight right in the third and the Englishman struggled to stop Bank Jacobs the opening laps.
A double jab raised another right hand from Jacobs early in the fourth, he bludgeoned Ryder’s nose but he bravely absorbed it.
Ryder never stopped moving forward, but the north London southpaw walked on all manner of shots from Jacobs.
Ryder enjoyed almost the whole of the fifth and looked set to cash in his first lap clear, but Jacobs pressed on the gas in the final 30 seconds and landed a handful of malicious right hands that ripped off the session and bruised the Briton.
Again, in the sixth, Ryder got off to a good start and looked set to get a stanza with the judges.
But Jacobs waited until the final 30 seconds to land a peach of a right hook, then rock Ryder’s head back with a few forehands.
Ryder was booked for striking on the break, but seconds later the risk was worth it as Jacobs threatened to come undone.
The Englishman landed half a dozen clean, crisp shots that had the Brooklyner wavering and worried, but he hit the bell.
Ryder was also excellent in the eighth round, mixing tough tactics with precision punches and knocking Jacobs into a daze in which he returned to his stool.
Jacobs had aged horribly by the end of the ninth, as Ryder’s relentlessness began to turn the tide of the thrilling row.
Dix was tight until the very end when Ryder connected with a few clean digs that shook Jacob’s head back.
On the 11th, Jacobs’ ringside family begged him to drop his southpaw tactic as it helped Ryder in his best moments.
The two breathless warriors connected with digs in the 12th and the last punch both men threw was touching gloves to end a brilliant old-school affair.