The leap and when to pursue it aggressively presents a difficult balance between ambition and patience.
An up-and-comer and one of boxing’s most promising prospects, the promotion to contender is the next step in Jared Anderson’s rise. However, some of the sport’s most dangerous rivals stand on the other side of that pursuit. Tyson Fury, WBC champion, Alexander Usyk, WBO, IBF and WBA combined champion, Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua and Joe Joyce dominate the heavyweight division and are not looking to pass the torch anytime soon. .
Having sparred with Fury, Anderson is no longer content to be their apprentice.
“In my last fight, I said, ‘I’m a teacher now.’ And that’s what I meant,” Anderson told The Post. “When they’re ready, I’m ready to drive them. When they are ready to accept those fights, they can call me and I will accept the fight in a hurry. I think it’s a lot of risk, but a lot of reward if you beat me.
“I’m getting a lot of attention and I’ve heard Deontay say he doesn’t get any credit for beating me, but he does. To beat a guy of my skill level who’s not just a hitter, but more, his head, his feet and everything else, I honestly think people give him more credit than he thinks he does. I think Either way, I’m always ready.”
Anderson, 23, has emerged as one of the biggest threats to the top of the heavyweight hierarchy. He has a perfect record of 12-0 and has knocked out every opponent in spectacular fashion. He is almost untroubled in the ring, growing in stature with a combination of strength and agility, rarely seen in the division.
“Big Baby” now takes his biggest step toward that goal before becoming a heavyweight top dog. He faces 34-year-old veteran Jerry Forrest (26-5-2) in a 10-round fight Saturday night at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden (9 p.m., ESPN+).
Forrest offers more than just another pitch and is an important test for Anderson. He’s only got one knockout in his career in 2013 and will have to counter and maintain the power punching that has dominated Anderson.
Anyway, that’s the idea. With each step in the competition Anderson faced, he revealed a new level of his game.
“My manners,” Anderson said when asked what set him apart in the ring. “You don’t see a lot of heavyweights throw the shots I do, you don’t see them come forward with calculated pressure. I nod, I might not initiate it, but when I get into my groove, I nod my head, my arms are moving fast, my feet are constantly moving, and I’m aware of my surroundings and listening. my coaches. I am a completely different fighter in so many different ways. And I watch the little things, watch the little fighters, I have a lot of advantages from that.”
At 6-foot-4, the soft-spoken tone Anderson carries outside the ring contrasts his brash demeanor on fight night. He does a lot of pre-fight promotions and refrains from a lot of trash talking while keeping a low profile on social media. Everything changes when he enters the arena, as he is known for his extravagant costumes and banter between fights.
Anderson entered the ring dressed in full costume as Chucky as a cook and inmate, a final ode to his incarcerated brother. After his latest knockouts, he can be heard sarcastically asking his opponents to get up before starting his celebration.
Through it all, Anderson has a strong sense of who she wants to be. The heavyweight division, perhaps like no other in boxing, is known for its entertainment factor and showmanship among fighters.
Anderson saw the plan ahead of him among the best fighters in the division. Now he is ready to give his lessons.
“I don’t want to be a superstar at all,” Anderson said. “Actually, I don’t want to be known, but it comes with the territory. I am ready and willing to accept it now. I have to face the facts, but it’s not me, it’s not who I am. I like my privacy, I like to be myself, everyone doesn’t want to pick apart who I am, but everyone has their own opinion and I have to understand that I will be talking about me for the rest of my life. my life, especially as I continue to be great. I am ready for it.”