Ajagba – Kossobutskiy & Anderson – Rudenko Tonight On ESPN+
By Brian Webber: In a loaded Top Rank event this Saturday, unbeaten heavyweight contender Jared Anderson faces veteran Andriy Rudenko in the ten round main event live on ESPN+ on August 26th at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.
It’s another tough learning fight for the 23-year-old Jared Anderson (15-0, 14 KOs), who struggled in his last fight against former IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin last July. Martin staggered Anderson badly twice and saw his consecutive knockout streak end at 14.
The original plan had been to match Anderson against contender Zhan Kossobutskiy, but he couldn’t take the fight. In hindsight, it’s perhaps a good thing because Anderson had many problems beating the 37-year-old Martin. If it had been Kossobutskiy, Jared might have been knocked out.
Jared Anderson must stop using the pull-back move that some believe he’s learned from watching his friend Shakur Stevenson fight.
While Shakur might be able to get away with using the pull-back move against the opposition he’s faced as a pro, Jared was getting lit up by Charles Martin.
Even Shakur paid the price using his pull-back move when Cuban Robeisy Ramirez beat him in the 2016 Olympics. Shakur didn’t learn his lesson because he still uses that move today, but his opposition has been too weak to take advantage of it the way Robeisy did.
If Anderson hopes to become a world champion someday, he’ll need to fix his leaky defense and work on his power game, as he’s not a huge puncher.
You can argue that Top Rank’s recent signee, 2016 Olympian super heavyweight Bakhodir Jalolov (12-0, 12 KOs), has more of a chance of capturing a world title & holding onto it than Jared Anderson.
The only thing holding the 29-year-old Jalalov back is his age. Compared to the 23-year-old Anderson, Jalalov doesn’t have as much time to make things happen in his career, and he needs to be moved quickly by Top Rank.
With heavyweight Tyson Fury sitting on his WBC title, defending it against weak opposition like Dillian Whyte & Dereck Chisora, it could take years for Jalalov to get a crack at that belt.
The 6’7″ Jalalov will be fighting Onoriode Ehwarieme (20-2, 19 KOs) in an eight round fight this Saturday night. This fight should be the co-feature bout; Jalalov is a far, far better fighter than Efe Ajagba, who is also fighting on this card.
In the chief support bout, 2016 Olympian Efe Ajagba (17-1, 13 KOs) will take on the unbeaten heavyweight contender Zhan Kossobutskiy (19-0, 18 KOs) in a ten round contest.
The Anderson vs. Rudenko card starts at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+.
Complete card for this Saturday
Jared Anderson vs. Andriy Rudenko
Efe Ajagba vs. Zhan Kossobutskiy
Bakhodir Jalolov vs. Onoriode Ehwarieme
Charly Suarez vs. Yohan Vasquez
Nico Ali Walsh vs. Sona Akale
Bruce Carrington vs. Angel Contreras
Jeremiah Milton vs. Craig Lewis
Ablaikhan Zhussupov vs. Wiston Campos
Abdullah Mason vs. Cesar Villarraga
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) August 17, 2023
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