Under the Radar Match Up: Jared Anderson vs Kingsley Ibeh

I was going to do a big prediction post on today’s three main events on ESPN+ and DAZN but was frustrated by the positive COVID test killing the main event on ESPN and JoJo Diaz losing his title on the scales of his own DAZN headline. I think the remainder of these cards are still interesting with some very good match ups but I have decided to highlight a fight that I really look forward to. That fight is a heavyweight contest on the ESPN undercard from the Bubble in Las Vegas between 7-0 7 KO’s Jared Anderson going up against 5-1-1 4 KO’s Kingsley Ibeh. These are two fighters who emerged on ESPN this past summer during the bubble series of fights from Top Rank Promotions and I spent plenty of time writing about them in 2020. I am very enthusiastic about the twenty-one year-old Anderson of Ohio who holds amateur decorations both nationally and internationally. His style is that of a smaller weight fighter despite being a good sized heavyweight competing in between 236 and 249. He showcases defensive skills, body punching and an offense that is dangerous and varied from either stance. He has won each of his seven bouts inside the distance and was kept active with five fights in 2020 and was able to go rounds as he reached the third against Langston and the fourth against Hernandez. Despite a career heavy 249 he looks to be in tremendous shape. Kingsley Ibeh is an underdog story much like Clay Collard was and benefited immensely from the ESPN bubble fights that featured the full card of fighters and not just the top two fights on the bill. The former football standout worked in insurance before turning to boxing and becoming a professional. While Anderson has been groomed for the moment, Ibeh has willed himself into it and learned a difficult sport at an age when fighters are expected to hit their stride. At twenty-seven Ibeh has only two years of boxing experience, he debuted in 2019 without an amateur background. Despite this uphill battle he went 3-1-1 2 KO’s in 2020 highlighted by a revenge KO of Cortes-Acosta which was a Sports Center type of highlight reel KO and a disputed draw with undefeated Guido Vianello. Vianello like Anderson was an accomplished amateur with a lot of push from Top Rank and ESPN. Ibeh brought the fight to Vianello and I scored the contest in Ibeh’s favor and despite the blemish on his record he marches on to face Anderson. What Ibeh lacks in experience and craft he makes up for in size with a near thirty pound weight advantage and a one and a half inch reach advantage. He also can switch stances effectively and has thudding power from his varied arsenal of hooks and uppercuts and a good jab for a fighter learning on the job. Ibeh’s only real problem has been his tendency to gas in fights and taking time to rest and recuperate which can be a problem vs a skilled fighter like Anderson. Anderson has not had a dog fight in the pros and has not been that many rounds. While Ibeh can tire we have not seen Anderson in scenarios that cause fighters to tire. Ibeh at 276 is not his career lightest but at one of his better weights and the same weight as he was entering vs Vianello where he had a great performance. I expect an interesting battle in this bout and am recommending this to my readers, please make sure you watch this fight.

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