Jared Anderson vs Merhy results, scorecards and analysis as ‘Real Big Baby’ returns

Heayvweight sensation Jared Anderson cruised to a dominant victory over experienced Belgian Ryad Merhy in their heavyweight showdown in Corpus Christi, Texas on Saturday night.

‘Real Big Baby’ had hit the headlines for the wrong reasons in recent weeks thanks to those much-publicised legal issues, but he produced a steely focus on the job at hand as he easily outpointed the disappointing Merhy in a bout televised live on ESPN in the US and Sky Sports in the UK.

The 24-year-old Anderson, who is seen by many as the future of the heavyweight division, pitched a shutout behind a stiff jab to improve to 17-0 as a pro (15 wins inside distance). Merhy meanwhile, just could not let his hands go and offered very little as he dropped to 32-3.

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Anderson dominates early

Anderson (250.9lbs) started in circumspect fashion, intent on controlling centre ring and establishing that stiff left jab. He was patient and productive in the opening session, landing that lead hand regularly and mixing in the odd body shot. Merhy (235.6lbs) meanwhile operated behind a high and tight guard for most of the round, clearly keen to block the power shots from ‘The Real Big Baby’.

Merhy again produced precious little in Round 2, once again happy to stay tight in defence and operate off the back foot. When he did emerge from his shell he did though land a nice left hand. Most of the round though was again Anderson dominating with that stiff jab, and he also spent a fair portion of the round switched to the southpaw stance.

Ryad started the third with a nice flurry of body shots, but pretty soon the fight returned to the previous script as he was kept on the end of that ramrod Anderson jab. Jared was starting to vary his shots now, landing a nice uppercut and body shot which hit home hard. Merhy though showed he could potentially be a danger as he landed a sweet counter.

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Merhy’s corner had told him to up the punch output between rounds, but there was precious little sign of it in the fourth as the Texas crowd started to grow restless. It was another dominant session from Anderson, who again did what he wanted behind that terrific jab. Another round for ‘Real Big Baby’.

The punch stats through four rounds could not have been more illustrative of what we were seeing – 269 to a measly 51 in favour of Anderson. And mainly jabs from the exciting Toledo, Ohio native.

Merhy offering little

The fifth brought more of the same with the smaller Merhy continuing to wait for the opportunity to showcase his smart hand speed. But right now it appeared like that might be an opportunity which would never arrive. He was struggling with the size disadvantage, several inches shorter than Anderson. As a result it was another easy round for Jared, but with little in the way of entertainment.

Jared was showing admirable discipline and patience, and Round 6 was another clinic on how to dominate a fight behind the jab against a smaller opponent. He turned southpaw and produced more of the same, keeping Merhy almost becalmed as the Belgian continued to offer little in return behind that high guard.

The seventh was very predictable based on what we’d seen to this point – Anderson again dominant behind the jab and Merhy again in a defensive shell. Sitting against the ropes behind a high guard and failing to let his punches go. Time was running out for the Belgian to do anything.

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Anderson, not for the first time tonight, started Round 8 out of the southpaw stance and continued to just operate easily behind the jab. The excitement from Merhy’s frustrated corner when he finally did throw a couple of counters was telling. It was surely a shutout so far for ‘Real Big Baby’.

Jared did his utmost in the penultimate session to up the pace, mixing in body shots and uppercuts with that powerful jab as Merhy just continued to throw very little back. It was a very disappointing showing so far from the former WBA cruiserweight king.

The final session saw Anderson – currently ranked 5 by the WBC and 7 by Ring magazine at heavyweight – again in cruise control though Merhy did at least try to throw a few shots in this session. It was way too little and way too late, and very frustrating given the Belgian clearly had the fast hands and smarts to be effective on some level. But to the scorecards we would go.

Official scorecards

There could be very little doubt as to what we’d get from the judges. The only surprise was that somebody, somehow, gave Merhy a round:

Judge 1: 100-90 Anderson

Judge 2: 100-90 Anderson

Judge 3: 99-91 Anderson

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Anderson vs Merhy results

Jared Anderson wins by unanimous decision.