Heavyweight prospect and rising contender Jared “Big Baby” Anderson will return to the ring for the second time in two months on Saturday night, when he faces off against Andriy Rudenko in a 10-round contest. The bout will headline an ESPN/ESPN+ card from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Anderson (15-0, 14 KO) was last in the ring July 1, when he outpointed former titleholder Charles Martin in what was his biggest test to that point. Although he was stunned by Martin in the fifth round, he managed to pass the test with flying colors, winning a lopsided decision on the judges' scorecards.
Some boxing fans may remember Rudenko (35-6, 21 KO) for his bouts against the likes of Zhilei Zhang, Alexander Povetkin and Agit Kabayel. And while he’s shared the ring with a considerable amount of heavyweight talent, he’s come up short anytime he’s gotten a big opportunity, and continues to serve more as a gatekeeper for future stars. He’s also been quite inactive recently, with just five fights in four years. Anderson on the other hand, has fought five times since late 2021.
It would be difficult to imagine Anderson losing this one, coming into the Saturday night’s matchup as a -3300 betting favorite, per BetOnline.ag. If victorious against Rudenko, it’ll only be a matter of time before fans start clamoring for Anderson to test his abilities against a legitimate top contender.
Fighter’s Form (last 5 fights):
Charles Martin - WIN by UD (99-90, 99-90, 99-91) - 01/07/2023
George Arias - WIN by TKO after 3 - 08/04/2023
Jerry Forrest - WIN by TKO 2 - 10/12/2022
Miljan Rovcanin - WIN by KO 2 - 27/08/2022
Oleksandr Teslenko - WIN by TKO 2 - 11/12/2021
Bojan Cestic - WIN by TKO 2 - 28/01/2023
Vladyslav Sirenko - LOSS by TKO 6 - 18/12/2021
Andrea Pesce - WIN by UD (80-72, 80-72, 80-72) - 30/07/2021
Kostiantyn Dovbyshcenko - WIN by UD (100-91, 100-92, 99-91) - 20/09/2020
Zhilei Zhang - LOSS by UD (99-91, 98-92, 97-93) - 30/11/2019
Date: August 26th, 2023
Time: 3:30 am (GMT), 7:30 pm (PT), 10:30 pm (ET)
Venue: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
Elsewhere on the card
The co-main event will feature heavyweight contender Efe Ajagba (17-1, 13 KO) against Zhan Kossobutskiy (19-0, 18 KO) in a 10-rounder. Also on the card is Bakhodir Jalolov (12-0, 12 KO) stepping in against Onoriode Ehwarieme (20-2, 19 KO) in an eight-round heavyweight bout.