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Boxing: Jared Anderson (15-0-0, 14 KOs) vs Andriy Rudenko (35-6-0, 21 KOs)

Jared Anderson, with an unbeaten record of 15 wins, 14 by way of knockout, will be back in action against Ukrainian powerhouse Andriy Rudenko. The main event is scheduled for Saturday, August 26, under the bright lights of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. This isn’t Anderson’s first firtst fight of 2023; he’s making his third appearance, hot on the heels of his recent win over previous world champion Charles Martin, cheered on by a 7,234 strong crowd in his own backyard of Toledo.

Top Rank’s head honcho, Bob Arum, has high hopes for Anderson, hinting at a future where he sports the heavyweight championship belt. He points out that Rudenko, the experienced fox, will be a tough nut to crack. Arum promises an electric atmosphere for the fans at Hard Rock Tulsa.

Since turning pro in 2019, Anderson has climbed the ranks with a rapid pace. He sent his first 14 opponents packing in six rounds or less, with Jerry Forrest and undefeated talents like George Arias and Vladimir Tereshkin in his hit list. On July 1, Anderson debuted as a pro in Toledo, walking away with a unanimous decision against Martin after 10 intense rounds. Currently sitting 7th in the WBO and 9th in the WBC rankings, Anderson is aiming for the division’s big guns.

Anderson isn’t here just to play ball; he’s aiming to dominate. He respects Rudenko’s achievements, but sends a clear message: come August 26 at Hard Rock Tulsa, Rudenko’s going to wish he’d never stepped into the ring.

Rudenko, a seasoned veteran with a record of 35-6 (21 KOs) at 39 years old, had a flawless 24-0 record before losing to undefeated hopefuls Lucas Browne and Hughie Fury. Rudenko, however, bounced back with seven back-to-back wins and bagged his first regional title. Recently, he’s been giving the sport’s heavyweights a real challenge, albeit falling short in decisions against previous world champ Alexander Povetkin, current European champ Agit Kabayel, and top shot Zhilei “Big Bang” Zhang.

Rudenko sees this as a golden opportunity, stating, “I’m heading to Tulsa with the aim of causing a major upset. I’m dedicating this fight to the people of Ukraine, and I can’t wait to prove I’ve still got the chops to go head-to-head with the best.”

Saturday, August 26 is set to be an electrifying day at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa, as Nigerian powerhouse Efe Ajagba goes head-to-head with Kazakhstani southpaw Zhan Kossobutskiy. The match promises an adrenaline-filled 10 rounds of pure action. And it’s just a warm-up for the high-stakes heavyweight confrontation between Jared Anderson and Andriy Rudenko.

Adding to the excitement, the evening will see Uzbek Olympic gold medalist Bakhodir Jalolov step into the ring against Nigeria’s Onoriode Ehwarieme for his first appearance under the Top Rank banner. Expect a mesmerizing eight rounds from these two promising talents.

Ajagba, fondly remembered as the 2016 Nigerian Olympian, has a solid reputation as a knockout machine. Despite a stumble against Frank Sanchez in October 2021, he’s bounced back and has continued to thrill audiences with his power and precision.

Then there’s Kossobutskiy, an impeccable southpaw with a formidable track record. He’s a seasoned boxer who doesn’t often let matches go the distance, so keep an eye out for his knockout punches.

The thrilling lineup continues with the undefeated Jalolov, whose Olympic glory and undefeated professional streak make him a must-watch. His aggressive boxing style promises an engaging spectacle.

And let’s not forget the promising undercard streamed on ESPN+, where we’ll see some of the sport’s brightest rising stars in action. Among them are featherweight Bruce “Shu Shu” Carrington, middleweight prospect Nico Ali Walsh – the grandson of the legendary Muhammad Ali – and 19-year-old prodigy Abdullah Mason. And, to top it off, Filipino Olympian Charly Suarez and Kazakh Olympian Ablaikhan Zhussupov are set to deliver captivating performances.

Mikey Balhan Sports

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