Jared Anderson Xander Zayas Score Lopez Undercard Wins
NEW YORK- Heavyweight prospect Jared Anderson, taking on by far the most significant opponent of his career, stepped up to the moment and destroyed fringe contender Jerry Forrest in the second round of the co-feature of the Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden .
Forrest connected with a combination in the opening seconds of the fight that got Anderson’s attention and seemed to briefly wobble him. But he came storming back and by the final minute had Forrest trapped in a corner and was teeing off on him.
Did not disappoint 👏 pic.twitter.com/11fm5oVlRv
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) December 11, 2022
Referee David Fields was looking closely but Forrest was able to throw back just enough to keep him from stopping it.
“Like my corner said, once I get hit it’s a whole different ballgame,” Anderson said. “I switch up everything. My mindset. How I fight. Everything. I try to come in cool and calm. I see everybody kind of was expecting him to go out early. I didn’t want that. I did want to get all the way warmed up. But once he did hit me, as ya’ll see, something flipped, and all I saw was red. “
The second round start was delayed as the ringside doctor took a good look at Forrest but the fight was allowed to continue.
But it didn’t go much longer. Anderson (13-0, 13 KOs), 22, of Toledo, Ohio, viewed by most as the No. 1 American heavyweight prospect, attacked him and when he forced Forrest to his own corner and landed a heavy right hand to the head, Forrest (26-6-2, 20 KOs), 34, of Newport News, Virginia, bent over and Fields immediately stopped it. It was only the second time Forrest, a southpaw, had been stopped.
“It shouldn’t have to take me to get hit for me to be able to do that, but everything was alright once I started to adjust myself and get my feet up under me,” Anderson said. “I have been kind of off for a little second, but I definitely think I came back and made it better.”
Forrest dropped to 0-3-2 in his previous five bouts but the previous four were all against name opponents — decision losses to former title challengers Kubrat Pulev and Carlos Takam with controversial draws in between against Michael Hunter and Zhang Zhilei.
Anderson said he wants a name opponent next.
“All the big names. All those people who are ranked. Anybody in the top 15 in the WBC, WBO, WBA, anybody up there,” Anderson said. “Filip Hrgovic. Frank Sanchez. All those big names. Dillian Whyte. Daniel Dubois. The whole list. The list goes on. Everybody. It’s a business. We got to make those fights. These people want to see these fights. Michael Hunter. Everybody who got an ‘0’ got to go. Let’s get it.”
Zayas dominates Salazar
Junior middleweight prospect Xander Zayas put on a good show in a rout of Alexis Salazar, winning the lopsided unanimous decision as the fans cheered his every move.
The judges scored it 80-72, 79-73 and 79-73 for Zayas (15-0, 10 KOs), a 20-year-old Puerto Rican from Sunrise, Florida, who Top Rank and Madison Square Garden officials envision headlining on the Puerto Rican Parade weekend a couple of years down the road.
Zayas came out blasting and had a big first round, nearly dropping Salazar with a left hook that sent him staggering backward.
He settled in and dominated the Freddie Roach-trained Salazar, who showed a god chin and strong effort but he was outclassed.
Still, Salazar (25-5, 10 KOs), 27, a Mexico native from Norwalk, California, was game as they battled toe to toe for much of the final round.
“I got to go back and see this fight, but they told me that I looked good,” Zayas said. “There were a couple moments where I let down my defense. But I give myself a nice B+.”
“Little by little we keep improving, keep getting better. But I feel like we can still work a little bit on everything. My distance. My punch output. My defense. My angles. Everything. I feel like we can improve on everything.”
Davis shuts out Burgos
In the televised opener, lightweight prospect Keyshawn Davis, a 2020 U.S. Olympic silver medalist, went past the sixth round for the first time in a shutout decision over former three-time world title challenger Juan Carlos Burgos. Davis won 80-72 on all three scorecards.
Davis (7-0, 5 KOs), 23, of Norfolk, Virginia, began slowly but methodically took Burgos apart and landed many clean shots, including a pin-point jab, while Burgos landed nothing of serious consequence and never landed double-digit punches in any round, according to CompuBox.
Davis had a big seventh round, cornering Burgos (35-7-3, 21 KOs), 34, of Mexico, and landing a series of right hands. Burgos is 0-2-1 in world title fights (one at featherweight and two at junior lightweight).
“I felt great man. He’s definitely a tough veteran,” Davis said. “I was definitely trying to stop him in there. I had him hurt a lot of times, but he’s a veteran and knows how to survive. That’s what he did tonight.
“I would give myself an A, but I ain’t stop him. So, I give myself a B+. I felt like I was conditioned throughout each and every round. There were rounds where I was picking it up and some rounds where I was slowing it down just to catch him with a big shot.”
Davis said that even after just seven fights he is ready for real test.
“We here, man. We ready. We ready. Bring them on. I’m ready for the real competition,” Davis said. “I’m ready for the real tough competition. Tonight was tough, but I dominated every single round. It just shows that I can take it to another level. And that’s what I’m here to do. We take it to the top. We’re going to stay at the top because we belong at the top.”
Ward outpoints Julan
Light heavyweight Joe Ward, a 2016 Irish Olympian, won a clear and entertaining unanimous decision over Frederic Julan. He won 79-73, 79-73 and 78-72.
Ward (8-1, 4 KOs), 29, and Julan (12-2, 10 KOs), 34, a France native fighting out of Brooklyn , New York, went right to each other and in the fourth round they battled toe to toe and Ward emerged with a cut over his left eye.
But the cut did not seem to bother Ward, who was busier and more accurate throughout the fight. Probably realizing he needed a KO to win, Julan pressed the action in the final round but didn’t come close to landing a fight-changing punch.
Knyba smashes Emilio Salas
Damian Knyba, a 6-foot-7, 246-pound heavyweight from Poland, thrashed the 6-4, 217-pound Emilio Salas in a second-round knockout of a scheduled six-rounder.
Knyba (10-0, 6 KOs), 26, swatted Salas (7-4-1, 3 KOs), 37, of Puerto Rico, all over the ring, marked up his face and was pounding him with when referee Harvey Dock stopped the fight at 1 minute, 50 seconds.
Johnson stops O’Han
Junior welterweight Tiger Johnson, a 2020 U.S. Olympian, dominated and stopped Mike O’Han Jr. in the fifth round of what was Johnson’s first scheduled eight-rounder.
Johnson (7-0, 5 KOs), 24, of Cleveland, Ohio, took it to O’Han from the outset and steadily broke him down.
In the fifth round, Johnson picked up his aggressiveness and battered O’Han into a corner and as he unloaded punch after punch referee Steve Willis stepped in at 1 minute, 29 seconds.
O’Han (16-2, 9 KOs), of Holbrook, Massachusetts, had a seven-fight winning streak end.