Top Rank Reveal Next Opponent

Top Rank Reveal Next Opponent

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On Saturday, April 13, Undefeated heavyweight phenom Jared “The Real Big Baby” Anderson (16-0, 15 KOs) will take a step up in class to face Belgian fighter Ryad Merhy (32-2, 26 KOs) in a 10-round bout at American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. Top Rank have confirmed both bouts, as did a report from Mike Coppinger.

Jared Anderson Next Fight: Heavyweight Doubleheader Card Revealed

Jared Anderson Next Fight vs. Ryad Merhy

In the co-feature fight, Nigerian boxer Efe Ajagba (19-1, 14 KOs) will clash with Italian heavyweight Guido Vianello (12-1-1, 10 KOs) in a battle of 2016 Olympians. The card will also show three-time world title challenger Robson Conceicao, who will take on Jose Guardado.

Top Rank Chairman Bob Arum was full of praise for Anderson: “Jared Anderson is the most exciting young heavyweight in the world, and he’s stepping up against his toughest opponent to date. Corpus Christi is a great fight town, and I can’t wait for the fans there to have a front-row seat for the future heavyweight champion.”

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Speaking on the co-feature heavyweight bout, Arum said: “Efe Ajagba is one of the division’s biggest punchers, but Guido Vianello is a skilled fighter who demanded a step up in competition. If you like heavyweights, this is a can’t-miss card.”

Anderson Speaks on Upcoming Fight

Anderson enjoyed a productive 2023, which saw him defeat Charles Martin by unanimous decision, and stop Andriy Rudenko in round five. When speaking about April 13, “The Real Big Baby” said: “This is going to be the start of a big year, and I can’t wait to show out in front of the fans in Corpus Christi and everyone watching on ESPN.” He continued: “Merhy is a solid fighter, but he has never faced a heavyweight like me. He’ll see that in person on April 13.”

Introducing Ryad Merhy

Merhy was raised in Belgium but was born in Ivory Coast, with most of his fights taking place in his adopted country. He has moved from cruiserweight to heavyweight during his career, with a disappointing loass to Kevin Lerena snapping a seven-fight winning streak. His career received a shot in the arm with his split decision success over Tony Yoka.

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The Brussels resident spoke on the upcoming challenge: “After ending 2023 with a great performance, I am looking for another great performance, this time on American soil against the ‘future heavyweight hope.” He continued: “What I like about my current position is that I have nothing to prove. I accepted this fight because I don’t see Anderson as a big danger. It’s up to him to prove himself against a small heavyweight like me. I feel no pressure. See you on April 13, Jared.”

Efe Ajagba Quotes

“I remember Guido from the Rio Olympics, and he is a very skilled and powerful fighter.”

“My goal is to become heavyweight champion, and in order for me to accomplish my dream, I have to be at my best against Guido.” 

Guido Vianello

“This is a big opportunity for me to fight one of the top heavyweights in the world, and I did not hesitate when it was offered. I am ready to step up to the plate, and I look forward to a great fight on April 13.”

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