Who’s Betting Against Jared Anderson?



Who’s Betting Against Jared Anderson?
Pics by Mikey Williams/TR/Getty

Who amongst you doesn't like the feeling of impending collision between two fits power punching heavyweights? That's the apex, that's the milieu that can make a collection of rooters shake and roar in amazement and excitation at a distinct level.

Really, as far as sport and the entertainment realm as a whole, an epic boxing match can induce an unparalleled chill.

I probably will feel silly because I'm writing all that as a preamble to a pretty humble Top Rank main event in Texas tonight: Jared Anderson, talented and a decent soul, one who has of late grappled publicly with missteps that are magnified by his growing stature as an attraction.

Can Maybe Ryad Merhy Pull The Upset on Jared Anderson?

He looks the part in the ring, can he hold it together well enough outside so his focus is appropriate to the task he's aiming at…Being THE MAN in the division? He's 18 months away from getting that sort of shot.

But, this guy Ryad Merhy, he too looks the part.

Jared Anderson and underdog foe Ryad Merhy

Merhy comes from the Ivory Coast, and has made Belgium his home. He certainly LOOKS comfortable at this Friday weigh in. Will that hold in the Texas ring? Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank

His physique suggests he's dilligent and I like the energy in Anderson-Merhy face-offs.

Now, if I had to guess, and that's what this is, an informed opinion, the 16-0 Jared Anderson's train will chug over the 31 year old Ivory Coaster-Belgian hitter Merhy (32-2, 26 KOs) who has lost to Arslan Goulimarian (in 2018) and Kevin Lerena two fights ago (May 2023).

I'm thinking that 24 years old Jared Anderson is quite sharp and dialed in, that he's been putting full focus on getting ring ready.

He should look on a different level than Merhy–but who amongst you all thought that the Fabio Wardley-Frazer Clarke scrap would play out as a fairly epic shootout?

Maybe agent Robert Mittleman is hoping so hard that the kid he helped get the slot elevates his game. Merhy's big, c'mon, every one knows it can just take one swat from the big lads, and BANG, game changed.

It's why we tune in, for those oh shit moments. See for yourself, Top Rank boxing on ESPN kicks off at 10 PM. The heavyweight tiff set for 10 or fewer rounds unfolds in Corpus Christi, at the American Bank Center.


Founder/editor Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the then-impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist has covered the sport since for ESPN The Magazine,, Bad Left Hook and RING. His journalism career started with NY Newsday in 1999. Michael Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live, since 2017.