Promoter Bob Arum feels confident that young heavyweight Jared Anderson will continue to improve under his guidance and will be able to capture a world title in 2026.

Anderson (16-0, 15 KOs) fights this Saturday, April 13th, on ESPN against Ryad Merhy (32-2, 26 KOs) in a 10-round fight at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi.

This is another test for the 24-year-old Anderson in facing the experienced Merhy in a fight that will tell whether he’s ready to step up. Arum says next year, he’d like to match Anderson against these types of heavyweights:

– Deontay Wilder
– Joseph Parker
– Joe Joyce
– Zhilei Zhang

Taking on Merhy: The First Test

“He’s really in good shape, and if Jared is in good shape, there’s very few heavyweights of any around that can beat him,” said promoter Bob Arum to Fight Hub TV about Jared Anderson, who fights this Saturday night against little known Ryad Merhy.

It’s hard to say for sure if there are any heavyweights that can beat Anderson because he hasn’t faced any top-tier heavyweights. He came close to being knocked out by the ex-IBF champion Charles Martin, which wasn’t a good sign.

“He’s fighting a very tough guy, a Belgian guy with a lot of experience,” said Arum about Anderson. “It’s the right fight for Jared at this point in his career. If he’s successful, we hope to have him fight again very quickly in the summer in Toledo and then probably again in the fall or the winter.”

Merhy beat 2016 Olympic gold medalist Tony Yoka in his last fight. In his fight before that, he lost to Kevin Lerena. If he hasn’t improved since the Lerena fight, he’s going to be in trouble against Anderson.

The Road to Heavyweight Title

“We’re going to move him starting now relatively quickly. My goal is is he continues on, he’ll be getting ready for 2026 fighting for a world title,” said Arum. “I really believe that Jared has all the ingredients to be a champion.”

It sounds good with what Arum is saying, but we don’t know if Anderson can stay out of trouble outside of the ring. He’s been arrested a couple of times, and he seems like a ticking time bomb ready to go off. I would hate to see Anderson end up as another Ike Ibeabutchi and do prison time for whatever reason.

“But again, it’s going to be a long road, and he’s going to be tested,” said Arum. “We’ve always had high hopes for him. He’s very charming, intelligent, and very articulate. So, I talk with him as often as I can, whether it’s getting ready for his fight or coming as a spectator that we do.”

2024: The Big Leagues

“We’re all aware of the situation, and hopefully, he’ll start maturing enough to understand what a great opportunity this is for him economically and continue on the path that he’s been on, which I believe will lead to a world championship in the heavyweight division,” said Arum.

It’s important that Arum keep Anderson as busy as possible to keep him in the gym and out of trouble. He seems to have problems when he’s not fighting and has time on his hands.

“That’ll be next year. Those types of names [Joseph Parker, Joe Joyce, Zhilei Zhang, and Deontay Wilder], he will be facing next year,” said Arum about Anderson.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here