Will Jared “Big Baby” Anderson Take Over The Heavyweight Division In 2024?
Broadcasted on December 23rd live on DAZN Pay-per-view, the “Day of Reckoning” was an event that was dominated by heavyweight action, but after analyzing the landscape of the heavyweight division, the question is, will Jared “Big Baby” Anderson be ready to take over the division in 2024?
The last quarter of boxing action has illustrated the fact that vulnerability exists amongst the heavyweights. The decline that has occurred in the upper echelon of the weight class equates to an opportunity for a rising star such as Jared Anderson.
A few months ago, undefeated WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury traveled to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to participate in a crossover boxing match against former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou. Trained by Hall of Fame boxer Mike Tyson, Ngannou landed a hard left hand shot that sent Fury down to the canvas in the third round.
Fury was able to get up and recover, but he wasn’t able to take over, as the match was more of a back-and-forth type of battle. At the end of the 10-round contest, one judge scored the bout 95-94 in favor of Ngannou, but that score was overruled by the other two judges who scored the bout 96-93 and 95-94 in favor of Tyson Fury.
The WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (34-0-1, 24 KOs) won the bout, but he did it in unimpressive fashion. It was shocking to see a boxing world champion with the experience and skill set of Tyson Fury get pushed to the limit by a former UFC champion who was making his boxing debut.
On the night of December 23rd, most fight fans assumed former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder would knock out Joseph Parker. It was quite evident that Parker was the better boxer, but conventional wisdom would say once Wilder landed his signature right hand, at that point the match would come to an abrupt end.
Instead of setting up the right hand, Wilder was waiting for an opening in order to connect with the lethal shot. The opening never occurred as Parker thoroughly outboxed Wilder through the course of 12-rounds, and won the bout by way of unanimous decision.
The 38-year-old former world champion Deontay Wilder (43-3-1, 42 KOs) lost every round, and he was unable to land a single clean right hand shot. Wilder looked like a fighter who had ring rust, was uninspired, and mentally checked out of the sport of boxing.
In the featured bout of the Day of Reckoning event, former two-time unified champion Anthony Joshua (27-3, 24 KOs) had an impressive outing as he defeated Otto Wallin by 5th round stoppage. Even though it looked impressive, Wallin was tailor-made for Joshua.
Wallin was an opponent who represented a temporary band-aid to cover Joshua’s confidence issues. Joshua’s struggles occur when he faces an opponent with athleticism, hand speed, power, or a combination of the three.
Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, and Deontay Wilder have shared the spotlight at the top of the heavyweight division for a significant amount of time.
Recently, unified champion Oleksandr Usyk joined the group, but as the others show signs of slippage, Usyk may be the only suitable threat for the new wave of heavyweights.
Leading the charge is the undefeated WBO number two ranked contender, 24-year-old Jared Anderson (16-0, 15 KOs). The 6 foot 4-inch, 240-pound heavyweight moves around the ring like he’s a middleweight. Anderson is a switch-hitter who has speed, power, and good punch placement.
A native of Toledo, Ohio, Jared Anderson made his pro debut in October 2019 when he scored a first round knockout victory over Daniel Infante. Anderson would go on to post 14 knockout victories in a row before going the distance and beating Charles Martin by way of unanimous decision.
In his most recent bout against Andriy Rudenko back in August 2023, Anderson scored a 5th round TKO victory. Now, Jared Anderson goes into the new year with his division experiencing a shift in the top spots.
With Oleksandr Usyk on the brink of turning 37 in January, the quartet of boxers who represent the top of the heavyweight division could all be on borrowed time.
With his skill set and all of his physical attributes, Jared Anderson at some point will take over the heavyweight division. The only question is, will it be sooner or later?