Arum Says Jared Anderson Will Be “Next Great Heavyweight”

By James Slater - 04/08/2024 - Comments

Bob Arum still believes in Jared Anderson. Despite the unbeaten, hugely talented and exciting young heavyweight’s recent legal troubles – “The Real Big Baby” racing his car at excess speed and being detained by the police back in March, Anderson charged with a third-degree felony – the Hall of Fame promoter is still sure the 24 year old will become “the next great heavyweight.”

Arum, speaking with Box Nation, said 2026 will be the year he expects Anderson to make his move.

“He’s a young kid, a good-looking kid, and what he did was wrong, racing cars and so forth. A lot of these kids do that,” Arum said of Anderson, who returns to action on April 13, against Ryad Merhy in Corpus Christi. “But it wasn’t as though he was beating people up in a bar or stealing things. He was behaving the way some 23, 24 year old kids do – doing stupid things. So now thank God he’s lost his driver’s licence so he can’t get in a car. He’s a really nice kid, a really fun kid with a bis smile – he has a bis test against this Belgian fighter that has a great resume, Merhy. I believe that given the rest of the year, and next year, that by 2026 Jared will be fighting for the heavyweight championship of the world and be the next great heavyweight.”

Toledo’s Anderson, currently 16-0(15) has not boxed since back in August, and against Merhy, 32-2(26), he may indeed be in for his biggest test so far. Merhy has bags of experience and he is a WBA cruiserweight champion. Anderson has looked sensational in some fights, but critics have pointed out his often leaky defence. Maybe Merhy can capitalise on this?

But Arum knows it when he sees and liked a young fighter, and if Anderson isn’t the best young heavyweight prospect out there today, then who is? Moses Itauma perhaps, or maybe you can name another guy? But Anderson is certainly exciting and he is a puncher. Who knows if Anderson has true greatness in him, the way Arum says he does.

We may find out quite a bit more about Anderson on April 13th. If he remains on course for the top the way he’s going, maybe Anderson will take over the division when Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua are all gone. Maybe.

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