Jared Anderson’s future is looking bright.

If the heavyweight phenom can stay committed and dedicated to boxing – and if he can stay out of trouble.

Those are some big “ifs” for a 24-year-old expected to be the next face of heavyweight boxing in the United States.

Anderson had a solid 2023 campaign, fighting three times – most notably beating former heavyweight titleholder Charles Martin in a unanimous decision.

The promising performance came in the wake of Anderson openly admitting that his love and passion for boxing has been fading and that he envisions retiring by the age of 27.

After last fighting in August, “Big Baby” has hit some big bumps outside of boxing, with two separate run-ins with the law. In February, Anderson was charged with a felony after leading police on a high-speed chase. In November, he was arrested for driving under the influence and for improper handling of a firearm.

Anderson (16-0, 15 KOs), an expectant father, is hoping to hit the reset button on his life and career by stepping back into the ring Saturday against Ryad Merhy (32-2, 26 KOs) to headline a card at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas (ESPN).

“I was living life. It is what it is. You can only do what you can do and take it on the chin,” Anderson told BoxingScene. “People make mistakes. I made mine. I am doing what's necessary to make those wrongs a right. It won't happen again. It's just a bump in the road. … I learned that I have to be a boxer 24/7 and not just when I have a fight coming up.”

Getting Anderson to fully focus on fighting could be his toughest opponent. 

Anderson said his passion for the sweet science started souring during the pandemic.

“It was right after the bubble fights [in Las Vegas from 2020 to 2021],” Anderson said. “I was having fun and still being a kid. I was still enjoying what I had going on. After [the pandemic], I had a different feel for the sport. I started to see the world and the sport for what it really is. It's a hypocritical sport. That's why I disagree with a lot of things.

“It's a lot. I can go on all day. It's a dog-eat-dog world as far as the business goes. Then you have fans and commentators, where you can do no right. Even when you do good, it only lasts for so long because the second you make one mistake, no matter how it is, you're going to get criticized for it, and it gives a whole different spin to your career.”

Anderson is being mentored by Top Rank boss Bob Arum, co-promoter Antonio Leonard and manager James Prince in a collective effort to help him stay on track.

For starters, they’ve told Anderson to pump the brakes on driving so they can better help him take the wheel of his career.

“The biggest thing they've been telling me is to stay the course and continue to try to get better every day so that when they do pop up with that big name to put me on the map for the world to see, that I am 100-percent ready, and that I don't have to get ready,” Anderson said.

Arum has big plans in place for Anderson. He wants Anderson to face the likes of Deontay Wilder, Joseph Parker, Zhilei Zhang and Joe Joyce by 2025 and be in position to become “heir of the throne,” as sparring partner Tyson Fury has predicted, with a heavyweight title run by 2026.

“I feel like I am moving up pretty good, and we are on to the next,” Anderson said. “My plan is to make my money work for itself after boxing. I've grown to be very business-minded. I want to work without having to work physically. My plan is to make as much money as possible. I am very marketable. I can talk the talk and walk the walk. I'm into being a showman when I walk into the ring, and I'm all business inside of it.”

Anderson said he’d like to make $50-75 million in his boxing career and then ride off into the sunset.

A lucrative fight against Wilder will accelerate his plans of earning pretty purses.

“I'm ready tomorrow,” Anderson said. “I respect Deontay. I think he has a helluva punch. But he can't beat me, and I'm just going to leave it at that. I'm too much of a well-rounded boxer, and I'm going to beat him in great fashion.”

Before Anderson can be served a main course in Wilder, he must first feast on what is perceived as an appetizer in Merhy, a former cruiserweight contender now campaigning as an undersized heavyweight, in his United States debut.

While Merhy is trying to make a name for himself in America, Anderson is aiming to prove he has what it takes to be the face of American boxing. 

“I want to look sharp, make the best of this opportunity, and I plan to make it look easy,” Anderson said.