Jared Anderson Faces Scrutiny in Ryan Merhy Matchup on April 13th on ESPN

By RustNate - 02/17/2024 - Comments

Unbeaten heavyweight contender Jared ‘Real Big Baby’ Anderson will fight former cruiserweight Ryad Merhy on April 13th in the headliner on ESPN fight in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Lingering Doubts After Martin Fight

The Top Rank-promoted Anderson needs to look good in this fight, considering some feel that he won’t pan out as a future champion. Jared was exposed by Charles Martin recently, which was troubling to watch given how much fake hype he’d received up to that point.

He seems to have adopted an ugly Shakur Stevenson pull-back style to his game, which doesn’t work at the heavyweight level and is boring to watch.

Anderson will have to dump that quickly to go anywhere in the division and, more importantly, increase his fan base to be a must-watch fighter. The last thing Top Rank and ESPN need is another Shakur-style fighter.

Merhy: A Step Up in Age, Not Quality

Age-wise, this is an improvement over the opposition Jared Anderson (16-0, 15 KOs) has been fighting during his career, as Merhy (32-2, 26 KOs) is 31 years old and not nearing 40, as we’ve seen with Jared’s recent opponents.

With that said, Merhy isn’t an improvement over ex-IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin, who gave the 6’4″ Anderson a devil of a time last July, shaking him to his boots with hard left hands and having him on the verge of a knockout loss in the tenth round.

The 11-year professional Merhy is not on Martin’s level, and that’s a signal that Top Rank has some concerns about Anderson’s ability to cut it with fighters with power and a semblance of talent.

The main problem with Merhy is his resume is vastly inflated with no-name oppoisition. When Merhy did step it up twice in his career against talented opposition, he was beaten by Kevin Lerena in 2023 and Arsen Goulamirian. The loss to Goulamirian was an 11th-round knockout defeat in 2018.

The Need for a Real Test

Anderson is ranked #4 WBO, #6 IBF, #6 WBC, and #12 WBA, but he’s not beaten anyone of substance yet. His best wins have come against these fighters:

  • Charles Martin: Hurt twice in the fight
  • Andriy Rudenko: 38-year-old veteran
  • Jerry Forrest
  • George Arias

Top Rank needs to throw Jared Anderson in with someone with some talent to see if he’s got what it takes to be worthwhile continuing to build. If Jared can’t cut it, throw him overboard for the sharks to feed on.

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