Bob Arum insists that the unbeaten Jared Anderson can still fulfil his potential and become the “next great heavyweight”, despite his recent brushes with the law. 

In November he was arrested in Ohio – he is from Toledo – and charged with improperly handling firearms in a vehicle while knowingly under the influence and operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

A month later he pleaded no contest to an amended charge of improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle while the OVI charge was dropped. He was fined $200 and handed a 180-day suspended sentence contingent on him not committing a similar offense within a year.

In February he then allegedly led police on a six-mile car chase that ended when he crashed into a median. His next date in court is April 15, two days after he fights the experienced Ryad Merhy (32-2, 26KOs) at the American Bank Center at Corpus Christi, Texas. 

In a recent interview Arum acknowledged that Anderson has made mistakes recently, as a “lot of these kids do”.

“He’s a young kid, a good-looking kid, and what he did was wrong, racing cars and so forth,” the promoter told BoxNation. “A lot of these kids do that.” 

Arum defended Anderson’s character and said that Anderson’s mistakes have been “stupid”.

“But it wasn’t as though he was beating people up in a bar or stealing things,” continued the promoter, of Top Rank. “He was behaving the way some 23, 24 year old kids do — doing stupid things. So now, thank God that he’s lost his driver’s licence so that he can’t get into a car.

“Jared has a big test against this Belgian fighter with a great resume, Merhy. Given the rest of the year and next year, I believe that by 2026, Jared will be fighting for the heavyweight championship of the world and be the next great heavyweight.”