Jared Anderson defeats reluctant Ryad Merhy by near-shutout decision

Jared Anderson defeats reluctant Ryad Merhy by near-shutout decision


Jared Anderson has had trouble with the law, not with his opponents.

The heavyweight contender demonstrated the latter again on Saturday night in Corpus Christi, Texas, where he defeated overmatched Ryad Merhy by a near-shutout decision in a 10-round bout on ESPN.

The scores were 100-90, 100-90 and 99-91.

Anderson (17-0, 15 KOs) was arrested twice since his last fight, for improper handling of firearms — for which he received a suspended sentence — and then taking police on a high-speed chase. He’s due back in court on the second charge Monday.

However, his legal woes didn’t appear to impact his performance at American Bank Center.

The 24-year-old from Toledo, Ohio, dominated the bout from the opening bell, fighting behind his long jab, landing more than enough power punches to win round after round and generally outworking his Belgian opponent.

Of course, Anderson didn’t receive much resistance. Merhy, a former cruiserweight contender who is a head shorter than Anderson, took almost no risks. He fought to survive, not to win.

That made it difficult for Anderson to score a knockout and produced a dull, one-sided fight, which drew boos from the crowd at several junctures.

Thus, the scoring wasn’t surprising, although judge David Sutherland will have to explain how he found a round to give to Merhy.

The CompuBox statistics told the sad story. Anderson connected on 128 of 662 overall punches, Merhi only 34 of 144. Mehry’s total punches thrown is the third fewest in a 10-round fight in CompuBox history In other words, the 31-year-old native of the Ivory Coast barely showed up.

Still, Anderson took another step forward toward his first title shot.

“I wanted to give the fans a better show, but what can you do when they show up to fight like him?” Anderson said. “It’s just another day in the office. We’re going to continue working.

“I stayed sharp for 10 rounds. That’s the biggest takeaway. I got to make some changes. I made some mistakes. I got hit with a few punches. I shouldn’t have gotten hit at all because he didn’t even come here to fight.”

Anderson and the other top heavyweights will have to see how the fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk on May 18 and a possible rematch shake out.

However, Anderson, who is particularly young for a top heavyweight contender, will remain in a strong position to face other top big men and ultimately fight for a major belt if he continues to win.

“I want all of the names,” he said. “If I’m ranked with you and your name is near mine, then we can get it crackin’. We’re coming to knock everybody off.”

In preliminary bouts, heavyweight contender Efe Ajagba (20-1, 14 KOs) defeated Guido Vianello (12-2-1, 10 KOs) by a split decision in a back-and-forth 10-round fight.

One judge scored it for Vianello, 96-94, but the other two had Ajagba winning by the same score.

And 130-pound contender Robson Conceicao (18-2-1, 9 KOs) of Brazil defeated Jose Ivan Guardado Ortiz (15-2-1, 5 KOs) of Mexico by a seventh-round knockout.

Conceicao hurt Ortiz with a left to the body, which put the Mexican down. He followed with a flurry that put Ortiz down again, prompting the referee to stop the fight.

The official time of the stoppage was 2:27 of Round 7.


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