Tulsa, Oklahoma - Jared Anderson, the rising force in the heavyweight division, reignited his knockout prowess with a commanding victory over Ukraine's Andriy Rudenko, resulting in a fifth-round stoppage. The fight may not have seen any knockdowns, but the relentless assault left Rudenko helpless. Referee Gary Ritter made a decisive intervention at 1:40 of the fifth round in their headline bout, broadcasted on ESPN, held at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Only eight weeks had passed since Anderson was pushed to go the distance in a unanimous decision win against former IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin. The prior July 1st encounter, which served as the ESPN headliner in his Toledo, Ohio hometown, marked the first instance of Anderson having to navigate all ten rounds as a professional.
The 23-year-old heavyweight showed no signs of being deterred by the end of his knockout streak or by the quick turnaround. In a display of his unwavering determination, Anderson requested and was granted the main event spotlight for Saturday's showdown, eagerly embracing the challenge against a willing opponent.
From the opening bell, Rudenko was within reach for Anderson, managing a couple of right-hand shots in the first round. While Rudenko weathered Anderson's late-round offensive, he escaped the canvas.
Anderson maintained the momentum in the second round, employing a strategic focus on body work. His powerful blows downstairs, accompanied by stabbing rights and left hooks, forced Rudenko into a defensive posture. A resounding power jab added an exclamation point to Anderson's assault.
The third round saw Anderson consistently employing his jab to set up subsequent body shots, punctuated by a well-placed left uppercut that penetrated Rudenko's guard. An agile switch to southpaw allowed Anderson to exploit Rudenko's midsection. The Ukrainian fighter faced repeated warnings for headlocks, and his point deduction for the offense in the fifth round was just one indication that his fate was sealed.
As the fifth round commenced, Rudenko (35-7, 21 KOs) appeared to be on the precipice of defeat, with the question not being whether he would succumb, but whether it would be via stoppage or disqualification. Amidst a barrage of ferocious power shots from Anderson, Rudenko found himself cornered along the ropes, unable to mount any significant resistance. After two verbal commands urging Rudenko to respond, the referee intervened, sparing Rudenko from further punishment.
With this impressive victory, Anderson's record advances to an unblemished 16-0 (15 KOs), initiating a new chapter in his knockout streak. His prior fourteen opponents had all succumbed within six rounds, a streak temporarily halted by the decision win over Martin.