Bob Arum makes Jared Anderson PLEA after ‘ugly night’ in Texas

Jared Anderson remains unbeaten and he remains probably the most exciting young heavyweight boxer on the planet. Now, he just wants a fight.

‘The Real Big Baby’ pitched a virtual shutout on Saturday night in Texas against former cruiserweight king Ryad Merhy. The only shock was that one ringside judge managed to give the Belgian a single round.

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Pre-fight it had been pitched as a stiff test for the 24-year-old Anderson, but in reality it was a glorified sparring session as the 31-year-old Merhy failed to bring any real attacking intent. Instead he spent most of the 10 rounds on the ropes trying to block and avoid punches behind a high guard.

The discontent from the Top Rank camp about Merhy’s performance was clear immediately post-fight with VP of Boxing Operations Carl Moretti make it pretty clear on X. Only two boxers in the 39-year-old history of Compubox have thrown fewer punches in a 10-round fight.

A disappointed Anderson himself was clearly frustrated by his opponent’s lack of fight – describing it as “an ugly night of boxing”.

Bob Arum on Jared Anderson

Once the dust had settled in Corpus Christi, it was Top Rank supremo – 92-year-old Hall of Famer Bob Arum – who took to social media in what amount to a plea for somebody to actually come and fight the sensationally talented Anderson.

He wrote: “We’re looking for a heavyweight who thinks he can actually beat Jared Anderson. We need someone brave enough to get in the right with Jared and give him a real battle. There’s no-one he would be reluctant to fight at this point.”

The last portion of that statement is telling – while Anderson’s ring moniker might include the word ‘baby’. he is no longer that in heavyweight terms. He’s 17-0 and on Saturday night he displayed admirable patience in discipline to easily outbox a disappointing opponent.

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The heavyweight division right now is booming – just this week we had two more megafights announced. Deontay Wilder vs Zhilei Zhang and Filip Hrgovic vs Daniel Dubois will take place on that June 1 bonanza which pits Eddie Hearn vs Frank Warren.

Those fights come just two weeks after the Fury vs Usyk unification blockbuster, which has a WBC final eliminator on the undercard in the shape of Agit Kabayel vs Frank Sanchez.

Most of the division’s top 10 will be out in the next three months – and tellingly most of them will be fighting each other. For now Anderson is on the outside looking in.

He is desperate for the chance to fight all-comers – he said as much in the aftermath of that cruise against Merhy on Saturday night. It appears his promoters feel the same. Now he just needs an opponent, it takes two to tango.

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