Tuesday, October 03, 2023  |


Jared Anderson ‘happy to get the rounds in’ against Charles Martin in homecoming bout

Jared Anderson
Fighters Network

Touted American heavyweight Jared Anderson headed into his fight with former IBF titlist Charles Martin last Saturday looking to thrill his home fans at the Huntington Center, Toledo, Ohio, whilst also making a statement to the heavyweight division.

He was able to emerge victorious but was taken the distance for the first time in his professional career, winning a relatively wide 10-round unanimous decision that was anything but straight-forward.

The 23-year-old got off to a good start dominating the early action before he dropped Martin with an overhand right. Given Anderson’s 100 percent knockout ratio, it looked to be the beginning of the end, but Martin hung tough and came into things and shuck up Anderson with a combination in the fifth round.

While Martin remained dangerous, “Big Baby”, who fights at a middleweight’s pace, was by far the busier man but was unable to give the locals the knockout they came to see and was stunned again late in the tenth round.

Ultimately, Anderson prevailed 99-90 on two of the scorecards and 98-91 the third.

This was one of those fights where had you seen the result you wouldn’t be in a rush to see the fight. However, it wasn’t that kind of fight, for the devil is in the details. It was a good action fight, yes, and Anderson (15-0, 14 knockouts) won and had the better of things, but we got to see how he responded to some adversity for the first time as a professional.

We got our answer: he bites down on his gumshield and fights back.

Admittedly, it’s a little worrying that the boxer tabbed the best American heavyweight since Riddick Bowe was rocked by an opponent who stepped in at 11-day’s notice and is considered one of the least impressive heavyweight champions in history. However, unlike when Martin fought Anthony Joshua several years ago and looked like he was a little in awe of the situation he found himself in, he gave a good account of himself on this occasion.

Martin had his moments during the fight, stunning Anderson in Round 5 and at the end of Round 10. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

However, before you jump off the bandwagon, it’s worth remembering that numerous prospects and contenders have had off nights against less than stellar opposition and went onto become damn fine champions.

You only need to look back at Muhammad Ali. “The Greatest” looked decidedly average against Doug Jones in March 1963 and in his next fight had to get off the canvas against Henry Cooper before getting the stoppage. The aforementioned Bowe didn’t look a world beater against Tony Tubbs. Nor did Tyson Fury when he appeared lucky to have his hand against John McDermott and he didn’t look any better when he was heavily dropped by the much smaller Steve Cunningham and struggled throughout before rallying to get a stoppage.

The important thing was they all won and learnt on the job, and were able to become better fighters for it.

At 23, Anderson has time on his side and he has the Top Rank brain trust, which for my money is the best in the business behind him. While I’m sure they’ll privately have some reservations, they will have been pleased with how he fought back after being hit.

Anderson, who is also a good talker, which will help his marketability going forward, said all the right things afterwards in a press release.

Jared Anderson’s hometown answered his call and packed the place to see him facing Charles Martin – Photo courtesy of Evan Korn/Top Rank

“It felt great. I had my team with me. I got my family with me. I got Toledo with me. They showed up and they’re in the building. They were with me the entire ten rounds. I heard them all the way through. I’m grateful for my opponent. He took the fight on short notice. He came and performed really good. I think we put on a hell of a show for Toledo.

“I wanted to go the distance. It was my first time. I just wanted to make sure that I could go the distance and especially be able to withstand power the whole ten rounds. He had power until the last round, and I was happy to get the rounds in.

“I think I took his best shots very well. I don’t think there was a time in the fight where I looked unsteady or where I couldn’t hold my own. Did I feel like he got me with a good shot and stunned me? No. But do I feel like he got me with a good shot and made me aware? Yes, so I had to readjust and get back to the game plan.”

Something else that will have pleased the Top Rank top brass was that the event was completely sold out. Anderson sold 7,234 tickets and will surely be back. You’d expect after such a positive response from the local patrons that Top Rank will look at this market akin to how they did with Michael Carbajal in Phoenix, the late, great Johnny Tapia in Albuquerque, Terence Crawford in Omaha etc.

It will also be interesting to see what and how Top Rank match Anderson going forward.

You would think he will fight once more this year, likely in the fall. Do they look to go at home again? Or do they look to give him experience on a big event as the chief support to say Fury’s next fight if it worked out in the right time frame for Anderson’s next fight? That would also likely give him experience fighting overseas, potentially a good learning curve.

Someone like Carlos Takam (40-7-1, 28 KOs) would be a solid opponent for his next fight. The French-based Cameroon native is a sturdy veteran, who goes rounds with everyone and is coming off an impressive win over compatriot Tony Yoka.

You could also see Stephan Shaw (18-1, 13 KOs) getting an opportunity, if he gets back in the win column later this month. Or Efe Ajagba (17-1, 13 KOs) who beat Shaw earlier this year, former European titleholder Agit Kabayel (23-0, 15 KOs) is well-ranked and a solid opponent, what about perennial gatekeeper Derek Chisora (33-13,23 KOs)?

If Zhan Kossobutskiy (19-0, 18 KOs) can sort his visa issues out maybe they can redo that fight or if they want to roll the dice against Arslanbek Makhmudov (17-0, 16 KOs), who impressed on the undercard.

There are several viable options for Anderson and after Saturday, the line of suitors may well be a little longer – not as long as the one to attend the fight – but longer than it was previously.


Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected].