One of the intriguing, unbeaten heavyweight contenders will headline for Top Rank Boxing in July and now Jared “Real Big Baby” Anderson has an opponent confirmed.
This as the promotion and ESPN announced Tuesday that Anderson will face Kazakhstan’s Zhan Kossobutskiy in the scheduled 10 round main event Saturday night July 1st in the Toledo OH, Huntington Center.
𝐀 𝐁𝐈𝐆 𝐁𝐀𝐁𝐘 𝐇𝐎𝐌𝐄𝐂𝐎𝐌𝐈𝐍𝐆 🍼@TeamBigBabyy headlines his first main event this summer in his hometown Toledo.
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) May 2, 2023
“Jared Anderson is a proud son of Toledo, and we are thrilled to bring Top Rank and ESPN to the ‘Glass City’,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum in the statement. “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.”
Meanwhile, Anderson, 14-0, 14 KOs, is obviously elated to be given a main event on ESPN in his hometown. He said in the Top Rank 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.”
Anderson was last in the ring on the undercard of Shakur Stevenson’s main event win in Newark, NJ, on April 8th. He wiped out George Arias by TKO in three rounds. He also fought on the card prior to Teofimo Lopez’s main event win at Madison Square Garden in December of last year. The hard hitting Anderson demolished veteran Jerry Forrest in just two rounds that night.
Hear Dan Rafael give you more on Anderson’s opponent and whether he poses much of a threat to “Real Big Baby” Anderson off our “Fight Freaks Unite Recap” Podcast by clicking below,
As for the opponent, Kossobutskiy, 19-0, 18 KOs, he’s a 34-year-old southpaw from Kostanay, Kazakhstan. In 2021, he three fights with knockouts, stopping once-beaten Nigerian Onorede Ehwareme, iron-chinned Philadelphian Joey Dawejko, and then-undefeated Dominican Alexis Garcia. In 2022, he dispatched former world title challenger Johann Duhaupas in the fifth round and is coming off a third-round knockout over previously unbeaten contender Hussein Muhamed in November.
Anderson will fight for the first time as a pro in his hometown, just a few days shy of the 104th anniversary of Jack Dempsey’s historic win over Jess Willard on July 4, 1919, at Toledo’s Bay View Park. Dempsey’s triumph heralded a new era in his illustrious career, and Anderson expects to do the same in his first headlining attraction.
In the 10-round heavyweight co-feature, Montreal-based wrecking ball Arslanbek Makhmudov takes on Nigeria’s Raphael Akpejiori. The Makhmudov-Akpejiori showdown rounds out a doubleheader featuring four undefeated knockout artists with a combined record of 64 wins and 61 stoppages. Anderson-Kossobutskiy and Makhmudov-Akpejiori will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.