Heavyweight Jared Anderson is headlining, live on ESPN+, against Andriy Rudenko in a 10-round affair in this Top Rank card. Anderson is being matched against an opponent in a learning fight to get him ready for the upper-echelon fighters.
Although Anderson is a highly-ranked contender, he’s a raw prospect with a big question mark hanging over his head. He looks good, but he’s too badly flawed to feel confident of ever being anything more than just a regular contender.
If nothing else, Anderson is very confident, and he’s good at talking about himself.
There are some excellent fighters on the undercard tonight. The 2020 Olympic super Heavyweight gold medalist Bakhodir Jalolov will be fighting Onoriode Ehwarieme in an eight round fight.
Tonight’s Anderson-Rudenko card will begin at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT on ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+ from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
With recent wins over Charles Martin, George Arias, Jerry Forrest, and Miljan Rovcanin, Top Rank is moving him as fast as they dare. However, he’s been hurt in two out of his last three fights, and he can’t afford to continue to get staggered against this level of opposition.
Anderson vs. Rudenko prediction
Although Rudenko is known for having a good chin, but he’s also 39 now and is too old to be fighting a heavyweight like the 23-year-old Jared. This writer sees Anderson unloading on Rudenko with a barrage of shots to score a knockout in the fourth round.
Anderson (15-0, 14 KOs) is being groomed by Top Rank as the next U.S. heavyweight star and future world champion.
Top Rank has a couple of good fighters on this card that they probably could have matched Jared Anderson against to help him develop faster.
Putting Anderson in with Bakhodir Jalolov, Efe Ajagba, or Zhan Kossobutskiy would have been fun in a sink-or-swim type of fight. If Anderson keeps winning, Top Rank will eventually begin putting him in with these types of fighters.
Anderson needs to improve his defense before he’s ready to fight heavyweights with power because several of the guys on this Saturday’s undercard might beat him if they were to fight now.
Friday’s weigh-in results:
Jared Anderson 239.6 vs. Andriy Rudenko 244.3
Efe Ajagba 236.5 vs. Zhan Kossobutskiy 234.4
Bruce Carrington 126.7 vs. Angel Antonio Contreras 126.8
Jeremiah Milton 254.4 vs. Craig Lewis 260.4
Nico Ali Walsh 159.1 vs. Sona Akale 157.9
Abdullah Mason 134.9 vs. Cesar Villarraga 134.7
Ablaikhan Zhussupov 149.7 vs. Wiston Campos
Charly Suarez 130.6 vs. Yohan Vasquez 129.6
Bakhodir Jalolov 253.6 vs. Onoriode Ehwarieme 224.9