Jared Anderson has been watching Shakur Stevenson to enhance his preparations for Saturday’s fight with Ryad Merhy. 

The 24 year old, at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas, fights for the 17th time as a professional, and is the favourite to win for the 17th time.

Anderson has stopped all but one of his previous 16 opponents – he recorded 10 valuable rounds when outpointing the former IBF champion Charles Martin in July 2023 – but for all that he has consistently proven to be so destructive a fighter it is one of the world’s most cultured boxers, the WBC lightweight champion Stevenson, he is attempting to learn from.

In the same way that Anderson is widely expected to prove the finest heavyweight of the coming era, the 26-year-old Stevenson is expected to prove the long-term successor to Terence Crawford as the world’s finest active fighter – Crawford, Floyd Mayweather and Andre Ward visited him in his dressing room before his victory in November over Edwin de los Santos – and Anderson explained: “It’s something I’ve been doing for a long time. He’s a silver medallist and a world champion – that’s what made me want to watch him. 

“But he’s also my brother, and a very solid and kind soul. We definitely had a rocky start, but I’ve definitely looked up to him for the better part of our relationship and years together. That’s what made me want to watch him.

“We stay in the same city; use the same gym. We definitely often link and talk and make sure that we check on each other and check on our wellbeing. 

“It’s kind of portrayed when we post on socials, or appear at each other’s fights and stuff like that. We’re in each other’s corners; it’s like I’ve known him all my life. It’s how we talk.”

Belgium’s Merhy, 31, represents less of a test for Anderson than did Martin or Anderson’s previous opponent Andrii Rudenko, but Anderson is due in court two days later. He is charged with “third-degree felony fleeing a police officer”.

“Life happens, so we can’t speak every day, but when we get the chance we always make sure we check on each other and if we ever hear something or think that the other needs some more attention from us then we definitely help out where we can,” Anderson continued of Stevenson. “We show up.”