Heavyweight contender Jared Anderson is taking a big step up in class against Martin Bakole on August 3rd on a Turki Alalshikh card at the BMO Stadium in Los Angeles. The card is headlined by Terence Crawford vs. Israil Madrimov.

Anderson’s Regression

Bakole (20-0, 15 KOs) is a big puncher, and he could score a knockout in this fight and expose Anderson as a hype job, which is how many fans on social media view him. Anderson’s popularity, never good to begin with, has dropped off the side of a cliff since last year for his fights on ESPN.

If Anderson falls apart in this fight, a lot of boxing fans are going to see it, and Top Rank is going to have a big decision to make on whether to keep him or cut him adrift and let him be some other promoter’s problem.

Right now, Anderson doesn’t look like he’s improving, and it seems pointless for Top Rank to keep matching him against the way they’ve been, hoping he’ll get better.

Some believe they’re keeping him around long enough until the current top heavyweights, Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, and Oleksandr Usyk, retire because they’re all getting old.

Testing Anderson’s Potential

It’s a risky fight for the 24-year-old Anderson, and it seems like his promoters at Top Rank have decided to stop babying him and want to see what they got. If Anderson loses or looks poor, Top Rank might need to throw him to the fishes and put their energy into Richard Torrez Jr. or some other fighters they’re developing.

Anderson fights in a cautious manner that seems similar to lightweight Shakur Stevenson, and that style will not work against any of the top-rung heavyweights in the division.

It’s unclear if Anderson is worried about taking punishment in his fights and hiding a glass jaw. He was hurt by Charles Martin in their fight last year, and since then, Top Rank has matched him against two weaker fighters, Andriy Rudenko and Ryad Merhy.

With the way Top Rank has matched the 6’4″ Anderson, they would never find out because his opposition had been too poor, and he had shown signs of regression.

Besides that, Anderson’s outside-of-the-ring activity was worrisome, making some believe that he was out of control and heading for trouble.

Anderson (17-0, 15 KOs) would have potentially been fighting former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder if he’d been victorious in his fight last weekend, but defeat wiped that option out.


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