American heavyweight hope Jared Anderson could fight Deontay Wilder on August 3 in Los Angeles, providing Wilder comes through his June 1 fight in Saudi Arabia with Zhilei Zhang unscathed.

Anderson is 17-0 (15 KOs) and the 24-year-old from Toledo would be making a significant step up, having boxed a reluctant Ryad Merhy in his last fight, a points win in April.

The August 3 bill is to be headlined by Israil Madrimov-Terence Crawford and Top Rank president Todd duBoef said they had not been looking for Anderson to be on the card.

“We were not trying to get him involved,” duBoef said. “It was more like they came to us and said, ‘Please, we really want this opportunity on the show’ and we were ear-marked for another show, so it was, ‘Give us a proposal and we will have a conversation with him and the team’.”

But even with Anderson at the table, Wilder still needs to get through Chinese giant Zhang, and that is not a foregone conclusion. Both heavyweight are coming off defeats to New Zealander Joseph Parker.

“Listen, that’s the big obstacle,” explained duBoef. “When I was at the 5 x 5 press conference I was sitting there, and I was leaning towards Zhang. I think it’s a tough fight. Wilder’s not coming off a good performance but he’s a dangerous, dangerous puncher and probably one of the most dangerous we’ve seen in the heavyweight division in the last 10 years and he can end the fight in any time.

“It’s a massive step up [for Anderson]. It’s shit or get off the pot. Let’s go. It’s game on. And when you start swimming in these waters, it’s dangerous. You’re no longer a prospect. Guys are firing back and you’ve got to be ready when they take the lead on you and you’ve got to be able to take it and give it out.”

Ahead of Anderson’s Merhy fight, there was speculation that Top Rank may try to move Anderson quickly, given he had out of the ring issues, as alluded to here by Eric Raskin

But duBoef said each fighter was handled individually and the best moves are made by the company with the fighters in mind.

“Everyone sits on the side-lines and tells us our business,” duBoef added. “I think we evaluate it differently. Each fighter is different, but at the end of the day we got an offer, an opportunity for him and we wanted to make sure…  I didn’t want to just ignore it, I wanted to have the conversation and say, ‘You’re option, we’re not taking a position on it, it’s up to you’, and him [Anderson] and his team jumped in, they were all in. They loved it. 

“If he gets the fight, meaning if Wilder gets through Zhang and it happens, and he can deliver on it, he’s the next American great coming through the ranks.”

Read the full article here