This Saturday, Jared Anderson makes his highly anticipated pay-per-view debut on the undercard of the third matchup between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. Heavyweights have always been the main attraction in boxing. There is something different when watching two big guys slug it out, knowing at any given moment one punch can change or end the fight.
Anderson, a rising heavyweight star, has won all nine of his professional fights via knockout. In fact, five of his bouts didn’t make it out of the opening round. That could change on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Anderson, 21, will face the undefeated Vladimir Tereshkin (22–0–1), who has 12 knockouts.
The Russian has more knockouts than Anderson has fights and more than double the experience. But ‘Big Baby’ doesn’t feel his lack of experience will be a factor. He has been one of the busiest boxers since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, competing in seven fights since January 2020.
Zenger News tracked down the product of Toledo, Ohio, during fight week to assess where he is mentally and physically before he enters the biggest stage of his career.
Percy Crawford interviewed Jared Anderson for Zenger.
Zenger: How is it going, big man? How are you feeling?
Anderson: I’m good! Feeling good.
Zenger: You were initially scheduled to face Vladimir Tereshkin on July 24th on the Fury-Wilder III card. Obviously, that fight got postponed, and Saturday, Oct. 9th is fight time. Did you taper down during those two months, or has it been a continuation?
Anderson: A continuation. Of course, we scaled back on the training, but it’s been continuous.
Zenger: Do you feel like this time allowed you to work on different things, or did you feel like you were already ready to go?
Zenger: You are jumping right into the fire. Tereshkin has more knockouts than you have fights. What was the thought process behind accepting this type of challenge?
Anderson: I’m not an easy fighter to fight, so I like to keep things balanced (laughing). Right now, my thought process with it is, win. Impose my will and dominate. Although he does have a lot of fights, the last time he fought was years ago. He has ring rust; that’s another thing you have to take into account — age — and I just know what I’m capable of. I’m a real confident person, and I just take things into account. Those are some of the things I took into account leading up to this fight.
Zenger: He did not fight at all in 2020. You fought five times and you’ve had two fights already this year. Is the plan to jump on him early and see if that ring rust you mentioned rears its head?
Anderson: It’s never to jump on anybody. This is the heavyweight division, and it only takes one punch. I’m always going to apply pressure. That’s just a part of my fighting style, depending on the fighter I’m against. He doesn’t seem like the bully-pressure fighter. That’s the only time I pretty much box. Any other time it’s a fast-paced, get-you-out-of-your-comfort-zone type of fight.
I will stay cautious, see what he has in the first round, feel him out, and then from there, we see what we can do. We just come prepared from all angles. Especially with the sparring I’m getting, I have different types of sparring partners. I haven’t been able to see a whole lot of fight footage on him. So, we have to take all angles. We have to take if he’s a pressure fighter. We have to take if he’s a boxer. I got different sparring so that we are prepared.
Zenger: Do you watch a lot of film on your opponents, or do you leave that to your trainers?
Anderson: It’s hard to find it on him, but I’m not a huge film person either. My coaches are more of the film people, and then they come to me with it, if they see something and want to pick it apart. They do that research for me.
Zenger: You have sparred some big dogs in the heavyweight division and held your own with every one of them, Tyson Fury being the biggest name, of course. How valuable were those sessions?
Anderson: It’s exactly what you said, we spar hard to make the fights easy. I’m glad and appreciative that they allowed me to share the ring with them, being that they are so much further into their careers. They could ask for anybody, but they choose me. I assume I bring something to the table. I’m just grateful to be able to show my talents.
Zenger: Do you feel your diverse style is what makes these guys want you in their camps?
Anderson: I think it’s 100 percent my diverse style. I can do it any way you want. I can box, I can bang, I got an inside game. I can do a lot.
Zenger: Your 10th pro bout will be televised on pay-per-view. Any pressure come with that for you?
Anderson: It doesn’t add anything to it. I go in there every day like it’s my last. It’s time to fight. No pressure, no fuel either, just time to fight.
Zenger: You fought five times in the bubble during 2020, along with two fights this year. Is the goal to fight as often as you possibly can to continue to sharpen your skills?
Anderson: I have always had the dream of ending my career early. You don’t last long in this sport. I don’t wanna be punch drunk. I don’t want to have complications after my career. I want to have my knees so that I can do sports with my kids. I never planned on having a long career. As long as I stay healthy and don’t suffer any cuts, I definitely plan on getting as many fights as I can, as fast as I can.
Zenger: For anyone watching Jared “Big Baby” Anderson for the first time on Saturday night, what can they expect to see?
Anderson: Flash! A smile, speed and a stoppage. I don’t believe this fight will go the whole eight rounds.
Zenger: You seem to always be smiling and having fun in the ring. Is that because you love what you do?
Anderson: That’s a complex question for me right now, because I have actually said multiple times in the last year that boxing isn’t as enjoyable as it used to be. Being a kid in the amateurs and going to tournaments and stuff, boxing was fun. We used to talk mess when we sparred. It was very competitive. It’s still competitive from most people I spar, but it was very competitive because we were still trying to learn your style coming up in the amateurs. It was fun. I loved the sport because I loved being in those moments of talking trash while you’re punching someone in the face. Of course, it’s hard times running six to seven miles and things like that. The things we do and sacrifice, but that was the fun for me.
But I can say that I have had fun in every fight that I’ve had so far. It comes natural for me to have fun when I see lights, cameras, and I get to show my talents. My thing is, I break most people down mentally. It’s a mental game for me. I think boxing is 75 percent mental and 25 percent physical. If I can in any way break you mentally, that’s my goal. That’s where you see me smiling. That’s when you see the biggest smile in the world.
It’s like when I fought [Kingsley] Ibeh. I knew in about the fourth round that I had broke him already, mentally. You could see it in his face. He didn’t know what to do, and he was just hoping that he landed a punch. That was where that big smile came from in that fight. Other fights, same thing really. When I can see in their face that doubt that they don’t know what to do anymore, that’s when you see that smile arise.
Zenger: You have definitely been having more fun than your opponents. I look forward to watching you on Saturday night. Is there anything else you want to say before I let you go?
Anderson: (Laughing). Thank you much!
Edited by Stan Chrapowicki and Matthew B. Hall