Wednesday, October 04, 2023  |



Jared Anderson punishes Andrii Rudenko to fifth round TKO win in Tulsa

TULSA, OKLAHOMA - AUGUST 26: Andriy Rudenko (L) of Ukraine and Jared Anderson (R) exchange punches during their heavyweight fight at Hard Rock Live on August 26, 2023 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)
Fighters Network

Rather than stew after his first significant test, heavyweight prospect Jared Anderson kept busy and sharpened his tools with a confidence-booster win on Saturday against Andrii Rudenko at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The 23-year-old Anderson finally broke down the durable but overwhelmed Ukrainian, stopping him midway through the fifth round with a sustained attack from every angle. The stoppage was the second ever against the 39-year-old Rudenko (35-7, 21 knockouts), though the previous one, a sixth round loss to Vladyslav Sirenko in December of 2021, was essentially a disqualification due to excessive holding.

The finish was the climax of a sustained beating which began with early body punching which left red marks on the left side of Rudenko’s flank.

“It’s part of the plan to start with the body and the head will fall. And as you saw, it worked,” said Anderson (16-0, 15 KOs) of Toledo, Ohio.

The fight came less than two months after his last bout, a unanimous decision win over former titleholder Charles Martin in which Anderson had been rocked before rallying back to win. Anderson says there was no deeper message he was looking to send by returning to the ring so quickly.

“I was sending a statement to myself. I’m fighting for myself, and I’m fighting for my family. As much as people want to hate on me for it, I’m a realist. I’m going to stay real and be real. And I’m going to say what’s on my mind. Ya’ll can take it how ya’ll want,” said Anderson.

“This is a business. This is a sport. I’m just doing my job. Take it how you want. You can’t force me to be somebody ya’ll want me to be. I’m going to be myself. And I’m going to be that till the end.”

Ajagba wins by DQ

There were some who expected a lot out of Zhan Kossobutskiy in his U.S. debut after winning all but one of his bouts abroad by way of knockout. Instead they witnessed him unravel in the most anticlimactic of ways, with his low blow barrage leading to a fourth round disqualification loss to Efe Ajagba in the ten-round co-main event.

Ajagba (18-1, 13 KOs), a 2016 Olympian representing Nigeria, targeted the midsection in a legal way throughout, being credited for 30 connected body shots according to Compubox in the abbreviated fight. Kossobutskiy (19-1, 18 KOs), a southpaw from Kazakhstan, begin to stray low in the third round, losing two points for punches below the belt before being warned that the next one would bring an ending to the fight.

That final low blow came at the 33-second mark, as Kossobutskiy was finally disqualified, awarding the victory to Ajagba.

The 29-year-old Ajagba earned his third straight victory since taking a step back against Frank Sanchez, who defeated him by unanimous decision in October of 2021.