Jared Anderson, who is viewed by most as the No. 1 American heavyweight prospect, returned from an eight-month layoff and right hand surgery and did not appear to have any issues with his hand as he used it to score a thudding second-round knockout of Miljan Rovcanin in the co-feature.
Because of the hand injury, the 6-foot-4, 241-pound Anderson (12-0, 12 KOs), 22, of Toledo, Ohio, missed a chance to have his fourth training camp as heavyweight champion Tyson Fury’s main sparring partner and a spot on the undercard of his April 23 defense against Dillian Whyte before 94,000 at Wembley Stadium in London.
But he did exactly what most expected for him to do against the 6-4, 230-pound Rovcanin (24-3, 16 KOs), 28, of Serbia, in their scheduled eight-rounder.
In the second round, Anderson knocked out Rovcanin’s mouthpiece when he hit him on the break and was warned for the foul by referee Mark Nelson.
Rovcanin mounted brief bursts of offense but nothing that dissuaded Anderson from his steady attack, which included body shots and concluded when Anderson landed a three-punch combination that he finished with a powerful chopping right hand to the head that dropped Rovcanin flat on his back. He seemed alert but took Nelson’s full count with the official time of the knockout 3 minutes of the second round.
“I was very calm. I was very patient,” Anderson said. “Actually (trainer Darrie Riley) was more nervous than I was, as usual, though. I felt very relaxed, pretty much the most relaxed I’ve ever been.
“(The body punches were) the reason for the knockout to me because he slowed down. His hands came down and that’s what executed the knockout.”
Hear us discussing the “Real Big Baby” win and his future on our latest “Fight Freaks Unite Recap” podcast by clicking below,
Rovcanin’s five-fight winning streak came to an end. A possible spot for Anderson’s next fight is on the undercard of Teofimo Lopez’s next fight on Dec. 10 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Anderson would like to step up in opposition and continued to call out unbeaten contender and IBF mandatory challenger Filip Hrgovic.
“Realistically, we don’t know how far we are from a (Hrgovic) fight. I would love that fight,” Anderson said. “Filip Hrgovic or anybody in the top 10 of the IBF or WBO, WBC. We’re just looking to get some bigger names. Everybody keeps asking for bigger fights. We would love to have those bigger fights.”