Boxing Preview: Jared Anderson (16-0-0, 15 KOs) vs Ryad Merhy (32-2-0, 26 KOs)

Jared Anderson, the undefeated heavyweight sensation from Toledo, Ohio, is on the hunt for another spectacular knockout. He’s stepping up his game to take on Ryad Merhy, the Belgian contender, in a ten-round headline fight in Corpus Christi, Texas, at the American Bank Center on Saturday, April 13.

In a clash of the 2016 Olympians, Nigerian powerhouse Efe Ajagba will throw down with Italian powerhouse Guido Vianello in a ten-round co-main event that promises fireworks.

Kicking off the televised action, Robson Conceicao, a three-time world title challenger, aims to keep his junior lightweight world title dreams alive as he takes on the surprise-package Jose Guardado over eight rounds.

Bob Arum, the big boss at Top Rank, can barely contain his excitement. He’s convinced Jared Anderson is the next big thing in the heavyweight division and can’t wait for Corpus Christi fans to witness this up-and-coming champion in action. Arum also hints at a titanic clash between Ajagba and Vianello, promising a night of heavyweight drama that fans won’t want to miss.

Anderson had a stellar year in 2023, racking up three wins, including two knockouts. He stopped George Arias cold in three rounds, won over the crowd in Toledo against Charles Martin, and then dispatched Andriy Rudenko in Tulsa. Now, he’s ready to kick off the year with a bang in Corpus Christi, confident that Merhy isn’t ready for what’s coming.

Merhy, hailing from the Ivory Coast but fighting out of Belgium, is no stranger to the ring. After claiming a cruiserweight title in 2021 and stepping up to heavyweight, he’s coming off a momentum-building win against Tony Yoka in Paris. Unfazed by the challenge, Merhy is ready to take on Anderson, seeing it as just another day at the office.

Following a recent training session in Houston, this is what Anderson had to say:

“I feel like my career is going in the right direction. The only way is up. But I’m still working like it’s my first day. We’re on the job, so make sure you all stay with the journey. Stay with me.”

“I have a better IQ than Merhy. You have to have a high IQ to do this. I have one of the best IQs in the heavyweight division. So, make sure you watch the little things. Make sure you watch for the details.”

“He’s got a beating coming. I always come to entertain. Don’t miss it.”

Ajagba is bouncing back from his first career defeat with a vengeance, racking up wins against Stephan Shaw, Zhan Kossobutskiy, and Joe Goodall. He remembers Vianello from their Olympic days and knows he’s in for a tough fight.

Vianello, after a minor setback against Jonnie Rice, has come back strong, shutting out Curtis Harper and demolishing Moses Johnson. He sees the fight with Ajagba as a golden chance to prove himself against one of the division’s best.

Conceição, Brazil’s first Olympic boxing gold medalist, has faced tough opponents like Oscar Valdez and Shakur Stevenson. He’s coming off a draw against Emanuel Navarrete and is ready to take on Guardado, a fighter making his first fight outside Mexico, fresh off a win over Aramis Solis.

With the undercard fights streaming exclusively on ESPN+, this event is shaping up to be a memorable night for boxing fans.

Henry Lebron, the Puerto Rican junior lightweight with a left hook that’s as smooth as a salsa dance and a record to match (19-0, 10 KOs), finds himself squaring off against Charly Suarez from the Philippines (16-0, 9 KOs) in a clash that’s bound to have fans on the edge of their seats. Last November, Lebron edged out William Foster III in a nail-biter, nudging his way further up the pecking order.

John Rincon, the welterweight pride of Corpus Christi (8-0, 2 KOs), is set to dazzle locals once more in a six-round tussle. Rincon, no stranger to the American Bank Center spotlight, previously secured a win against Bryan Ismael Rodriguez Rivera, leaving fans buzzing for more. In the lightweight division, Abdullah Mason (12-0, 10 KOs), a 19-year-old whirlwind from Cleveland, steps back into the fray for an eight-round battle against Ronal Ron (14-5, 11 KOs). Mason, fresh off a jaw-dropping knockout of Benjamin Gurment, is already turning heads and dropping jaws with his power-packed left.

Ruben Villa (21-1, 7 KOs) is gearing up for a featherweight showdown against Cristian Cruz Chacon (22-6-1, 11 KOs), a seasoned warrior from Mexico.


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