Friday, April 12th 2024

Press Conference Notes: Heavyweights Jared Anderson and Ryad Merhy Set for Corpus Christi Collision

Anderson-Merhy, Efe Ajagba-Guido Vianello and the return of Robson Conceição will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (April 11, 2024) — Unbeaten heavyweight phenom Jared “The Real Big Baby” Anderson (16-0, 15 KOs) looks to overcome his biggest challenge to date against Belgian contender Ryad Merhy (32-2, 26 KOs) this Saturday, April 13, in the 10-round main event at American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.

In the 10-round heavyweight co-feature, Nigerian puncher Efe Ajagba (19-1, 14 KOs) and Italian standout Guido “The Gladiator” Vianello (12-1-1, 10 KOs) will clash in a battle of 2016 Olympians.

The eight-round televised opener features Brazilian three-time world title challenger Robson Conceição (17-2-1, 8 KOs) against Mexico’s Jose Guardado (15-1-1, 5 KOs).

Anderson-Merhy, Ajagba-Vianello and Conceição-Guardado will be broadcast LIVE on ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

The ESPN+-streamed undercard (5:50 p.m. ET/2:50 p.m. PT) will feature hometown heroes Julian Delgado and John Rincon. Delgado will make his pro debut in a four-round middleweight tilt against Juan C. Tamez (1-0), while Rincon (8-0, 2 KOs) faces Yainiel Alvarez (3-3-2, 1 KO) in a six-rounder at welterweight.

The undercard also features a gamut of Top Rank’s up and coming talent, including lightweight prodigy Abdullah Mason (12-0, 10 KOs), who puts his unbeaten record on the line against Ronal Ron (14-4, 11 KOs).

Newly-signed prospects Jalen Walker (12-0-1 10 KOs) and Ali Feliz will make their debuts under the Top Rank banner. Walker takes on Alejandro Guerrero (12-4, 9 KOs) in a eight-round junior lightweight fight, while Team USA heavyweight Feliz enters the paid ranks in a four-rounder versus Anthony Woodson III (1-1, 1 KO).

Promoted by Top Rank, tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster.com.

At Thursday’s press conference, this is what the fighters had to say.

Jared Anderson

“Expect the best version of me. Expect to see me shine. Expect to see me dominate and show why I belong here.”

“Merhy has a different level of experience. But, everything from my amateur pedigree and what I’ve always done to everyone, whether they have experience or not, will play a different role.”

“The challenge {with smaller fighters} is that you have to sometimes deal with their speed, which we trained for. But I don’t really see to many challenges with this. I don’t really see too many challenges. I’m used to fighting all types of different people. I’m used to training with all types of people. So, if you don’t prepare properly, then you won’t perform properly. So, just know that we came prepared for sure.”

Ryad Merhy

“I’m very happy to be here. What a great opportunity. Who would have ever thought that from a small country like Belgium I would be able to show my talent in America? I hope to represent my country.”

“I’m not looking for anything. They’re looking for me. I’m a cruiserweight who has moved up to the heavyweight division because I was called out. They keep calling me, and now I’m here.”

“Jared is a very talented fighter. He is a great prospect. But this Saturday I’m going to show that he still has a long way to go. I have gone 177 rounds as a pro, while Anderson has only gone 46.  So, we’ll see if that plays a big difference on Saturday.”

Efe Ajagba

“We know each other well. We’ve sparred each other. So, we know each other a lot. We have Olympic backgrounds, so that’s how it happened.”

I want to see what he brings to the table. We sparred. But that’s sparring. That’s different from an actual fight. He thinks that I’m going to fight like I how sparred. But it’s not going to be like that. This fight means a lot because it is a stepping stone.”

Guido Vianello

“We know each other. We are two aggressive fighters in the ring, I can’t wait to fight. I can’t wait to see what happens in there.”

“I expect a good fight. This is a great opportunity. I’m really happy. The happiness is the strongest power I have. So, let’s see who is the best and fight.”

“I have zero pressure because I always just think about me. I’m happy because Top Rank has a lot of heavyweights. This is good for us because we can make a lot of good fights.”

Robson Conceição

“For sure it was a tough fight with Emanuel Navarrete. It was a war. And I learned a lot from it. I also prepared a lot for this fight. And I think I will get another title shot soon.”

John Rincon

“I’m excited to be back in my hometown. I just gotta keep doing what I’m doing. The sky is the limit for me. I’m ready, and I’ll see you all on Saturday.”

Ali Feliz

“This is huge. I’ve been waiting for this moment for years. And there’s no better place to start it than Top Rank. I’m excited to start the journey.”

 

Saturday, April 13

ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+ (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT)
Jared Anderson vs. Ryad Merhy, 10 rounds, Anderson’s WBO International and WBC USA Heavyweight Titles

Efe Ajagba vs. Guido Vianello, Ajagba’s WBC Silver Heavyweight Title

Robson Conceição vs. Jose Guardado, 8 rounds, junior lightweight

ESPN+ (5:50 p.m. ET/2:50 p.m. PT)

Julian Delgado vs. Juan C. Tamez, 4 rounds, middleweight

Ruben Villa vs. Cristian Cruz, 10 rounds, Vacant WBC Silver Featherweight Title

John Rincon vs. Yainiel Alvarez, 6 rounds, welterweight

Abdullah Mason vs. Ronal Ron, 8 rounds, lightweight

Charly Suarez vs. Louie Coria, 8 rounds, junior lightweight

Jalen Walker vs. Alejandro Guerrero, 8 rounds, junior lightweight

Ali Feliz vs. Anthony Woodson III, 4 rounds, heavyweight

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