After winning gold at the US National Championships, Jared Anderson was immediately signed by Bob Arum and Top Rank. Arum is known for developing young prospects, and is trying to prepare Anderson for greatness. Can the Toledo, Ohio, native live up to the hype?
Making his pro debut as a 19-year-old, “The Real Big Baby” has won 14 of his first 15 fights via knockout. Now 23, Anderson has beaten Jerry Forrest and Charles Martin, the latter in his last fight in July 2023 in what was considered his toughest test yet.
Next? A quick turnaround against Andriy Rudenko on August 26. The fight will take place at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma and will be broadcast on ESPN+ in the US
While Anderson’s competition has yet to rise to the championship level, there is no denying his talent. Before defeating Forrest, Anderson had already done enough to earn a third-place finish on The Sporting News’ 25 Under 25.
A 15-0 start with 14 knockouts begs the question of how Anderson stacks up against some of boxing’s best. Of course, the sweet science is far from an exact science, and many of boxing’s greatest didn’t make a real impact until long after they turned 23. Rocky Marciano didn’t turn pro until he was 23. Jersey Joe Walcott didn’t win a world championship until he was 37 .
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Anderson is on his way to achieving great things at a much younger age. Time will tell if he can make anywhere near as big of an impact.
Here’s a look at the careers of some of the greatest to don the gloves, and their record up to age 23.
- Record at age 23 or younger: 22-0 (18 KOs)
- Final career record: 56-5 (37 KOs)
Before he became Muhammad Ali, Cassius Clay made a name for himself as an Olympic champion and a highly regarded professional. “The Greatest” had already beaten Archie Moore, Doug Jones and Henry Cooper before defeating Sonny Liston via corner retirement to win the heavyweight championship at the age of 22.
At the age of 23, Ali landed one of the fastest (albeit controversial) knockouts in heavyweight title history when he dropped Liston two minutes into the first round of their rematch, posing over him in a now-iconic photograph. Six months later, Ali tortured former champion Floyd Patterson for a TKO 12 victory in his last fight on the 23rd.
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- Record at age 23 or younger: 35-1 (29 KOs)
- Final career record: 66-3 (52 KOs)
With a record 25 consecutive title defenses, Joe Louis is one of the most influential boxers of all time and an icon in and out of the sport. Known as “The Brown Bomber”, he is ranked #1 on The Ring’s 100 Greatest Punchers list.
The LaFayette, Alabama-born Louis already had victories over Primo Carnera and Max Baer before facing James J. Braddock in 1937 for the NYSAC, NBA and The Ring heavyweight titles. Against “Cinderella,” Louis, who had just turned 23, scored an eighth-round knockout to win the championship he would hold for over 11 years.
Louis defended the title against Tommy Farr, Nathan Mann and Harry Thomas before turning 24.
- Record at age 23 or younger: 51-5-8 (37 KOs)
- Final career record: 58-6-9 (43 KOs) * Dempsey’s record varies by source
Dempsey was a true pioneer, with his fight against Georges Carpentier on July 21 drawing boxing’s first ever million-dollar gate. At a time when there were no limits on fights in a calendar year, “The Manasa Mauler” fit over 60 fights into a 13-year professional career.
MORE: Ranking Muhammad Ali’s 10 best fights
Making his professional debut at the age of 19 in 1914, Dempsey’s first fight at 23 was a victory over Tom McCarty. By this time he already had over 40 wins on his record. At the end of his 23rd year, Dempsey knocked down Jess Willard seven times to become champion. By then, the new heavyweight king had over 50 wins on his record.
- Record at 23: 38-1 (34 KOs)
- Final career record: 50-6 (44 KOs)
“The Baddest Man on the Planet,” Mike Tyson was an enigma in the 80s and early 90s.
Debuted at 18 and became the youngest heavyweight champion in the sport when he destroyed Trevor Berbick in two rounds for the WBC title.
From there, Tyson went on a dominant run against the best the division had to offer at the time. His first fight at 23 was a TKO 1 victory over Carl Williams in 1989 to retain the Undisputed Championship. While his last win at 23 was a win over former amateur rival Henry Tillman, Tyson also succumbed to a colossal upset loss to Buster Douglas in the fight before that.
After his release from prison, Tyson regained two world titles in 1996, defeating both Frank Bruno and Bruce Seldon.
MORE: My Sweetest Victory with WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury
- Record at 23: 19-0 (14 KOs)
- Current career record: 33-0-1 (24 KOs) * career in progress
Tyson Fury, the current WBC heavyweight champion, shocked the world at the age of 27 when he beat Wladimir Klitschko to win the IBF, WBA, WBO and Ring championships. However, “The Gypsy King” started his career strong, beating John McDermott (twice) and Derek Chisora before reaching the elite level.
The first Chisora fight, in 2011, saw the then 22-year-old Fury beat “Del Boy” in his 15th pro fight to win the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles. His 23 fights (2011-2012) were against Nicolai Firtha, Neven Pajkic, Martin Rogan and Vinny Maddalone, all of whom won by TKO.
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