By: Kirk Jackson
Two Ohio-born talents have joined the pre-Independence Day celebration as part of the ESPN+-streamed undercard to the heavyweight doubleheader featuring Toledo’s switch-hitting Jared “The Real Big Baby” Anderson (14-0, 14 KO’s) against Kazakhstan’s Zhan Kossobutskiy (19-0, 18 KO’s) in a 10-round main event on Saturday, July 1 at Toledo’s Huntington Center.
Cleveland native, outstanding southpaw up and coming Abdullah Mason (8-0, 7 KO’s), will make his third appearance of 2023 in a six-round lightweight fight against Tobias Green (10-3, 3 KO’s), while Toledo-born junior lightweight Tyler McCreary (16-2-1, 7 KO’s) will face an opponent to be named in a six-rounder.
Mason is regarded as a 19-year-old prodigy and considered one of the brightest talents in U.S. amateur boxing prior to signing with Top Rank in October 2021.
Mason debuted as a professional the following month, securing a second-round TKO over Jaylan Phillips.
Already off to a fast start, in 2022, Mason went 5-0 with four knockouts. The southpaw continues to ride that momentum in to 2023, having already earned a first-round knockout over Erick Garcia Benitez in April, and a sixth-round TKO win over Desmond Lyons last month on the Devin Haney-Vasiliy Lomachenko undercard.
His upcoming opponent Green is a 27-year-old Floridian who returns after an eight-round decision win against Ryan Schwartzberg last October.
McCreary is a longtime pro on the comeback trail. Following his 2019 showdown against former two-division world champion Carl Frampton, the 30-year-old experienced a near-two-year layoff before losing to Manuel Rey Rojas in 2021.
Last month, however, he overcame another layoff to score a first-round knockout against Jake Bornea in Toledo.
Whether he is the next great American heavyweight remains to be seen. But Anderson is nice blend of talent, skills and personality. His fight style is somewhat reminiscent of a great American heavyweight of the past Riddick Bowe, and we’ll see if the Ohio native continues his smooth transition to the top.
Anderson is the hottest up and coming heavyweight in the sport and claims he’s ready for the top contenders. Meaning, he’s ready for Anthony Joshua, Andy Ruiz, Deontay Wilder, unified champion Olexander Usyk and lineal champion and labelmate, Tyson Fury.
Anderson-Kossobutskiy and Arslanbek Makhmudov-Raphael Akpejiori will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Universum Boxing, tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster.com.