Jared Anderson got the fight he asked for and the ending which he has always envisioned.
Another knockout performance was delivered by the unbeaten prospect, who stopped Kingsley Ibeh in the 6th and final round of their heavyweight clash Saturday evening at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
A left hook by Anderson sent Ibeh crashing frighteningly to the canvas, remaining flat on his back as referee Russell Mora immediately halted the contest at 2:19 of round six.
The main purpose of seeking a tough opponent such as Ibeh was to avoid another one-sided 1st round knockout from which little can be gained. Ibeh showed his worth in his previous Bubble performance, fighting Italy’s Guido Vianello to a six-round draw in an Oct. 2020 fight most felt Ibeh deserved to win.
Anderson was ready for the challenge, brushing past a right hand to otherwise dominate the opening frame. A stream of jabs paved the way for right hands and left hooks for Anderson, who bloodied Ibeh’s nose midway through the round.
Anderson continued to work behind the jab in round two, leaving Ibeh on the defensive and punching in reactionary mode. The same tactic was applied in round three, with Ibeh forced to fight through a stream of blood flowing from his nose though daring Anderson to stand and trade. Anderson never took the bait, instead alternating between conventional southpaw stance while shoving his jab in Ibeh’s face.
Ibeh landed his best punch of the fight in the opening seconds of round four, a straight left hand out of his southpaw stance. Anderson took the shot well, immediately adjusting and keeping the fight at his desired range. Ibeh spent most of the rest of the round with his back against the ropes, attempting to set a trap. Anderson never took the bait, instead strictly boxing while occasionally showboating in his best effort to have fun in the ring.
The bell to sound the start of round five marked uncharted territory for Anderson, who has only fought into round four once and past the opening round just twice in eight pro fights. A strictly boxing round for the unbeaten Toledo native paved the way for a potent finish. Anderson unloaded power shots on a near-defenseless Ibeh in the final round, with blood flowing and the Phoenix-based Nigerian seemingly on the way out.
Anderson closed the show in emphatic fashion. A right hand left Ibeh defenseless, with a left hook putting him down and out for the night.
It’s now a perfect 8-0 (8KOs) for Anderson, who picks up his fifth win in the Vegas bubble. Ibeh falls to 5-2-1 (4KOs) in what marked his fourth fight on location.
The bout served as the opener of an ESPN-televised tripleheader, topped by a scheduled 10-round lightweight clash between former titlist Richard Commey (29-3, 26KOs) and contender Jackson Mariñez (19-1, 7KOs).
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox