Jared Anderson: Expect the best version of me in Ryad Merhy fight

Jared Anderson faces Ryad Merhy live on ESPN from Corpus Christi, TX

Toledo heavyweight Jared Anderson is primed for his 2024 ring debut against former world champion Ryad Merhy of Belgium. The pair battles it out in the main event at American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas on Saturday, April 13. The bout is scheduled for 10 rounds.

Unbeaten Houston-based Anderson (16-0, 15 KOs), who won all but one of his fights inside the distance, is confident in his victory. Early last week, the 24-year-old promised “a beating” of his opponent.

“Expect the best version of me,” Jared Anderson said at the final pre-fight press conference. “Expect to see me shine. Expect to see me dominate and show why I belong here.”

“Merhy has a different level of experience. But, everything from my amateur pedigree and what I’ve always done to everyone, whether they have experience or not, will play a different role.”

“The challenge [with smaller fighters] is that you have to sometimes deal with their speed, which we trained for. But I don’t really see to many challenges with this. I don’t really see too many challenges. I’m used to fighting all types of different people. I’m used to training with all types of people. So, if you don’t prepare properly, then you won’t perform properly. So, just know that we came prepared for sure.”

Jared Anderson at the press conference
Jared Anderson at the press conference | Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Brussels, Belgium-based Ryad Merhy (32-2, 26 KOs) is a former WBA cruiserweight champion. The 31-year-old native of Côte d’Ivoire also goes through the ropes for the first time this year and makes his first ring appearance in the United States.

“I’m very happy to be here,” Ryad Merhy said. “What a great opportunity. Who would have ever thought that from a small country like Belgium I would be able to show my talent in America? I hope to represent my country.”

“I’m not looking for anything. They’re looking for me. I’m a cruiserweight who has moved up to the heavyweight division because I was called out. They keep calling me, and now I’m here.”

“Jared is a very talented fighter. He is a great prospect. But this Saturday I’m going to show that he still has a long way to go. I have gone 177 rounds as a pro, while Anderson has only gone 46. So, we’ll see if that plays a big difference on Saturday.”

Jared Anderson and Ryad Merhy
Jared Anderson and Ryad Merhy shake hands | Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Jared Anderson and Ryad Merhy
Jared Anderson and Ryad Merhy at the press conference | Mikey Williams/Top Rank

In the co-main event Efe Ajagba (19-1, 14 KOs) of Nigeria faces fellow-Olympian Guido Vianello (12-1-1, 10 KOs) of Italy. The bout is scheduled for 10 rounds at heavyweight.

Among Anderson vs Merhy undercard bouts, Olympic gold medalist Robson Conceicao (17-2-1, 8 KOs) of Brazil goes up against Jose Ivan Guardado Ortiz (15-1-1, 5 KOs) of Mexico. The contest is scheduled for six rounds at junior lightweight.

Parviz Iskenderov
Parviz Iskenderov is a former Muay Thai fighter, sports manager and editor at FIGHTMAG.

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