Even as Jared Anderson ascends in the heavyweight division, the developing knockout artist anticipates that it is going to be difficult to secure fights against established contenders.
Anderson senses eventually getting a title shot will require even more maneuvering.
“I’ll have to get a mandatory spot before I get a title fight,” Anderson told BoxingScene.com. “Then they really won’t have no choice. So, that’s what I’m preparing for, to be honest.”
Anderson (12-0, 12 KOs) also is preparing to end 2022 in impressive fashion Saturday night, when the Toledo, Ohio native will square off versus veteran Jerry Forrest at Madison Square Garden in New York. ESPN will televise the first scheduled 10-rounder of Anderson’s three-year pro career as part of the Teofimo Lopez-Sandor Martin undercard (9 p.m. ET; 6 p.m. PT).
The 34-year-old Forrest is 0-2-2 in his past four fights, but he tested Chinese contender Zhang Zhilei and American contender Michael Hunter in back-to-back bouts that resulted in draws in 2021.
Forrest (26-5-2, 20 KOs), a southpaw from Newport News, Virginia, recovered from three knockdowns during the first three rounds of his 10-rounder with Zhilei and almost upset the 2008 Olympic silver medalist in February 2021. Forrest settled for a majority draw against Zhilei (24-1-1, 19 KOs) and a split draw with Hunter (20-1-2, 14 KOs) in another 10-rounder nine months later.
Bulgarian contender Kubrat Pulev (29-3, 14 KOs) out-pointed Forrest convincingly in Forrest’s last fight, a 10-round match May 14 at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
“I don’t think he offers much,” Anderson said. “In his last fight, he took a lot of punches. I’m honestly not expecting the most out of him. But I know he’s tough, I know he’s durable and I hope to get more rounds than I have gotten.”
None of Anderson’s past four fights have lasted beyond the second round. Forrest has been knocked out only once in 33 professional fights and not since Gerald Washington stopped him in the second round of their August 2013 bout in Indio, California.
The 23-year-old Anderson said it isn’t “at all” important to him to keep his knockout streak intact by defeating Forrest inside the distance.
“It’s just to win impressively,” Anderson said, “and as I’ve been saying, getting to display all of my talent because my other fights have all ended by knockout.”
The 6-foot-4, 240-pound Anderson has attracted attention in boxing by winning each of his professional fights by knockout. ESPN has televised most of those victories to sizable audiences, but Anderson wants to prove he has a diverse skill set in actual fights, not just during sparring sessions against Tyson Fury and other veteran heavyweights.
“I just wanna fight as many times as I can next year,” Anderson said, “get that ranking up higher, so we can get those bigger fights and hopefully make mandatory soon, now that I’m ranked [15th by the WBC]. Thank you to the WBC, and hopefully I can get in those other [rankings] also. But as of now, I’m just looking to get those fights secured because there’s a lot of people I know that aren’t gonna accept those contracts.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.