As Hall of Fame fighter turned promoter and pundit, Barry McGuigan keeps a keen eye on boxing’s next generation.
Known as ‘Clones Cyclone’, McGuigan won British, European and World titles at featherweight in a 35 fight career that saw him hang up the gloves with 32 wins and an army of fans that regularly filled out arenas.
He’s now in the business of building fighters rather than beating them, and his son, Shane, currently trains the likes of Adam Azim, Chris Billam-Smith and Caroline Dubois.
Writing in The Mirror, McGuigan identified American heavyweight Jared Anderson, as a superstar in the making.
“Anderson is the heavyweight contender America has been waiting for since Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson hung up their gloves a generation ago, a KO artist who loves the game.”
“Can he take a shot? Can he fire back under pressure? He’s been feeding on fodder so far. Though I’d back him against the likes of Derek Chisora and Dillian Whyte, he will need another 18 months before facing the best.”
McGuigan’s thoughts were penned before 23-year-old Anderson had his latest test in former world champion, Charles Martin.
The southpaw who was once famously blasted out by Anthony Joshua in two rounds took Anderson the distance, and even hurt him despite being dropped himself.
Still, Anderson came through unanimously and the general consensus is that the rounds will do him better than another quick knockout.
McGuigan knows these are the sort of building fights that are important. He expects – or certainly expected – big things from ‘Big Baby.’
“Anderson’s development is hugely important to the sport. The history of boxing is defined by the great American heavyweights.
Anderson has it within him to reassert American dominance in a way Deontay Wilder failed to accomplish. Wilder has only one string to his bow, albeit a good one in lights-out power. But it is not underpinned by all-round skills.
I’m impressed by his attitude and approach. His feet are firmly on the ground. He respects the game and understands the value of hard work and commitment … He talks about giving back to the community, about being a role model, an example to those coming up behind. There is an energy about him and a hunger.
It feels like he could be the one, a Foreman, a Holmes, an Ali or a Frazier. Wouldn’t that be something?”
Anderson is expected out again before the end of the year as his promoter, Top Rank, continues to build on the hype.