Heavyweight boxing is coming to the Huntington Center in Toledo, OH, on July 1, 2023. One of boxing’s blue-chip heavyweight prospects, Jared ‘The Real Big Baby’ Anderson (14-0, 14 KOs) is coming home to face Kazakhstan’s Zhan Kossobutskiy (19-0, 18 KOs) in a ten-round heavyweight clash that will stream live on ESPN and all of their platforms. This event is Top Rank’s way of saying that they are putting the machine behind Anderson and that they feel he is the next great American heavyweight champion.
Anderson’s star is on the rise, and this looks to be the right time for him to get the local hometown support before putting him up against some of the marquee names in the division. Anderson has been used as a sparring partner for Tyson Fury, which has given him the confidence that he is ready to face those next-level opponents. He is naturally excited to fight in front of a home crowd and said in the Top Rank press release, “To my family, friends, and fans in Toledo, I cannot wait to come home. This is a dream come true. Trust me, I am going to put on a show for you all. The support of my city has pushed me my entire career, and I know everyone will be in my corner on July 1.”
Years in the making 🙏#AndersonZhan | JULY 1 | @ESPN pic.twitter.com/CjCarJxG0d— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) May 2, 2023
His opponent is somewhat of a knockout artist, as only one of Kossobutskiy’s opponents heard the bell of the last round. Although he has been active with two fights last year and three in 2021, this will be Kossobutskiy’s first fight of the year but will also be the toughest to date. “The fact that this fight will take place in the United States, in my opponent’s hometown, will make this fight interesting. I like to box strong opponents. Such fights are needed in the heavyweight division. I haven’t watched his fights. They say that he is good, but we will analyze him in the process of my fight preparation.”
Also on the card will be two more fighters from Cleveland that continue to make noise within the Top Rank stable: junior welterweight prospect Tiger Johnson (8-0, 5 KOs) and light heavyweight Dante Benjamin Jr. (6-0, 4 KOs).
Top Rank Chairman Bob Arum is certainly giddy about hosting this card in Toledo, OH, and eagerly anticipates what Anderson will do that night and what that would mean for the heavyweight division. “Jared Anderson is a proud son of Toledo, and we are thrilled to bring Top Rank and ESPN to the ‘Glass City.’ Ever since Jared turned pro, we have set our sights on Toledo as a fight destination. He is now the best young heavyweight in the world, and the time was right to bring ‘The Real Big Baby’ home. Zhan Kossobutskiy is a ferocious puncher in his own right, and I expect an action-packed fight in front of a raucous, sold-out Huntington Center crowd.” This card will produce fireworks before everyone lights up their own days later as the country celebrates Independence Day.