Charles Martin vows to ‘make a title run’

James Dielhenn

Senior Boxing Journalist @JamesDielhenn

Last Updated: 08/01/20 5:58am

Charles Martin is a former IBF champion
Charles Martin is a former IBF champion

‘Prince’ Charles Martin plans to earn a major victory against a ranked opponent before challenging to become a two-time world heavyweight champion later this year.

The former IBF champion lost his belt to Anthony Joshua four years ago after an 85-day reign, the second shortest in history, and has since been outpointed by Adam Kownacki too.

“2020 is the year that Charles makes another title run,” his manager Mike Borao told Sky Sports. “The idea is two bouts against top 15 [ranked opponents] by late summer followed by a shot at a likely fragmented world title by the year’s end.

“We are looking at top 15 names in all organisations. Hopefully we will have sorted it out within the next week or two.

“The date is most likely in March, but we are working that out now.”

America’s Martin is not currently ranked by any of the governing bodies, and his plan relies upon Joshua giving up either his IBF or WBO titles.

Anthony Joshua watches the last two Deontay Wilder knockouts and delivers his verdict
Anthony Joshua watches the last two Deontay Wilder knockouts and delivers his verdict

WBO heavyweight rankings

  • 1) Usyk
  • 2) Parker
  • 3) Kownacki
  • 4) Ruiz Jr
  • 5) Dubois
  • 6) Fa
  • 7) Hunter
  • 8) Romanov
  • 9) Chisora
  • 10) Zhang
  • 11) Faure
  • 12) Schwarz
  • 13) McKean
  • 14) Hrgovic
  • 15) Fujimoto

Kubrat Pulev (IBF) and Oleksandr Usyk (WBO) are the mandatory challengers vying to face Joshua next, leading to the possibility that he could be stripped by the governing body whose preferred opponent is overlooked.

Joseph Parker’s interest in challenging for the WBO belt, which he previously owned, has also been registered. The New Zealander is ranked at No 2 behind only Usyk.

“You could end up with a situation where you have Usyk fight Parker for the vacant title,” his manager David Higgins told Sky Sports.

Derek Chisora, meanwhile, is poised to face Usyk if Joshua opts to fight Pulev. Chisora could either profit from a vacated belt or propel himself up the WBO rankings.

But Martin hopes to gate-crash any plans by winning a major fight in his next outing.

He is training out of Legendz Gym in California, home of Andy Ruiz Jr who held the IBF, WBA and WBO titles for six months before losing them back to Joshua.

The best KOs of 2019
The best KOs of 2019

Martin reflected to Sky Sports about becoming the champion himself and struggling with the aftermath: “You become a king overnight. From a pawn to a king. Life changes, you know?

“I lost the love for a while but now I’m back.

“I got too comfortable, and you must never be too comfortable. Every day you need to wake up to learn. If you’re not learning anymore, you need to get out.

“I’m a champion with a champion’s mentality and a champion’s spirit. I am not a normal person. I knew what I had to do, and I did it.

“I overcome things. It has made me stronger. I’m happy that I’ve endured these things.

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Undefeated 15-0 Cuban contender Frank Sanchez Faure will also resume his rise soon, working with the same trainer as Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.

“Frank will return as well, and make another defence of his NABO heavyweight title,” his manager Borao said. “We are looking at potential opponents now.

“Frank is looking fantastic with his new trainer Eddy Reynoso.”

Source : Sky Sports