TULSA, OK (July 13, 2023) —There is no rest for the sport’s hottest young heavyweight. Jared “The Real Big Baby” Anderson, the fighting pride of Toledo, Ohio, is set to go for his Sweet 16.
Anderson (15-0, 14 KOs) will take on Ukrainian contender Andriy Rudenko in the 10-round main event on Saturday, August 26 at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. The 23-year-old slugger will make his third 2023 appearance less than two months after defeating former world champion Charles Martin in front of 7,234 hometown fans in Toledo.
Anderson-Rudenko and additional fight action will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Holden Productions, tickets starting at $49.50 are on sale now at www.hardrockcasinotulsa.com.
“This is another great test for Jared. When you watch him fight, you are seeing a future heavyweight champion of the world,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Rudenko is a crafty veteran who has been in there with some top guys. The fans at Hard Rock Tulsa are in for a real treat.”
Anderson debuted as a pro in 2019 and has developed into a top contender. He ended his first 14 fights in six rounds or less. His knockout victims included Jerry Forrest and previously unbeaten standouts George Arias and Vladimir Tereshkin. On July 1, he fought for the first time as a pro in his hometown, debuting as a headlining attraction with a 10-round unanimous decision win over Martin. Ranked 7th in the world by the WBO and 9th by the WBC, Anderson is on track to challenge the division’s top dogs.
Anderson said, “I want to stay active and make my case that I am the present and future of the heavyweight division. Rudenko is a tough, durable veteran. I respect what he’s accomplished in the game, but on August 26 at Hard Rock Tulsa, he’s going to regret accepting this challenge.”
Rudenko (35-6, 21 KOs) is a 39-year-old with more than 16 years of pro experience. He was 24-0 before losses to then-undefeated contenders Lucas Browne and Hughie Fury. Rudenko then tallied seven consecutive wins, earning his first regional title in the process. In recent years, he has provided stern tests to some of the sport’s top big men, losing via decision to former world champion Alexander Povetkin, reigning European champion Agit Kabayel, and top contender Zhilei “Big Bang” Zhang.
Rudenko said, “This is a tremendous opportunity, and I am coming to Tulsa to score the big upset. I dedicate this fight to the people of Ukraine, and I can’t wait to show everyone that I still have what it takes to perform at the highest level.”