Jared Anderson hopes to use Saturday’s fight with Ryad Merhy as a springboard towards a lucrative future date in Saudi Arabia.

The undisputed heavyweight title fight on May 18 in Riyadh, between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk, is just the latest demonstration of the extent to which Saudi Arabia’s wealth has allowed them to almost buy the heavyweight division.

Anthony Joshua stopped Francis Ngannou in the same destination in March after finishing 2023 by stopping Otto Wallin on the same evening Joseph Parker defeated Deontay Wilder – on a promotion that came shortly after Fury outpointed Ngannou, also in Riyadh.

The 24-year-old Anderson was present at Fury-Ngannou, and on Saturday at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas, fights to record his 17th professional win, which he recognises could lead to a future fight in what is threatening to become the home of high-level heavyweight boxing.

“There’s definitely an interest, and we have been in contact, trying to get something worked out,” he said. “We just have to take care of business here first on Saturday.

“When I went over there for the first fight, Tyson Fury and [Francis] Ngannou, Your Excellency [Turki Alalshikh] – he definitely showed me an extreme amount of hospitality, and invited me over again. Told me they wanted me over there and stuff.

“He’s an awesome guy. His English is very broken, but he’s an awesome person. Very respectable, and he’s a huge boxing fan. He wants to see the best fight the best.”