Charles Martin Wants Four More Fights Before Retirement
By: Hans Themistode
Despite sporting an enormous tattoo spread across his abdomen that says “Above Tha Law”, Charles Martin can be described as a gentle giant.
The heavyweight contender graciously and routinely stops for pictures with his adoring fans and has earned the recent reputation as a hard worker. Still, despite the superlative words, Martin becomes incensed whenever Anthony Joshua is brought up in any conversation.
After achieving a lifelong dream of becoming a heavyweight world champion against Vyacheslav Glazkov in 2016, the Saint Louis Missouri native saw his title reign come to an abrupt end less than three months later.
A confident Martin walked into the backyard of Joshua at the O2 Arena in the United Kingdom and attempted to defend his crown. However, he was quickly dealt with via second-round stoppage. While their contest may have taken place more than five years ago, Martin is not only still seething at how their showdown unfolded but more than anything, he’s plotting his vengeance.
“I didn’t get a fair shake with that one,” said Martin recently. “I want to fight Joshua twice. I wanna whip that ass back to back.”
Since his embarrassing defeat to Joshua, Martin has gone on to win five of his last six contests, including three straight. Presently, the former IBF heavyweight champion is mere hours away from taking on highly rated contender Luis Ortiz. The two will officially square off on the first day of the New Year at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
Having turned pro in 2012 and currently 35 years of age, Martin isn’t interested in prolonging his career for much longer. Should he take care of business against Ortiz, Martin reveals that he already has an exit strategy in place. With Martin suffering defeat at the hands of Adam Kownacki in 2018 and with two matchups against Joshua set in his sights, Martin believes he’ll wrap up his career immediately after.
“This is the revenge tour. Right now I’m focused on Ortiz. He’ll be number one out of these four fights that I plan on doing before I retire.”
Luis Ortiz Believes He’s Still Avoided
By: Hans Themistode
Even at the age of 42, Luis Ortiz believes his time near the top of the heavyweight division is far from over.
In just a few more weeks, the Cuban native will look to prove that age is nothing more than a number when he takes on former IBF heavyweight champion, Charles Martin. The two are slated to face off on the first day of the new year at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
While Ortiz has scored several devastating wins throughout the course of his career, following two defeats at the hands of former WBC belt holder Deontay Wilder, Ortiz has become somewhat of a forgotten man in the grand scheme of things. More than anything, the slick and powerful southpaw has patiently watched as names such as Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk, and Andy Ruiz Jr., have received their just due as the best in the division.
Ortiz, on the other hand, believes his name should still be mentioned amongst the elite. However, while Ortiz is convinced that his skills are second to none, he has a strong hunch as to why his name isn’t mentioned by any of his top contemporaries.
“You know why my name isn’t mentioned?” Questioned Ortiz during a recent virtual press conference. “Because they avoid me. I don’t know why they avoid me but they do.”
Although Ortiz believes his name should still be protruding near the top of the heavyweight division, he’ll have an opportunity to climb his way back up the ranks come January 1st. Since losing a close but clear unanimous decision to Adam Kownacki in September of 2018, Charles Martin has hit the reset button. As a result, the former world titleholder has reeled off three straight stoppage victories.
Still, despite the current streak of Martin, Ortiz is confident that he’ll be able to put an end to it. Most recently, following his seventh-round stoppage defeat at the hands of Deontay Wilder in November of 2019, Ortiz has bounced back. The Cuban made quick work of Alexander Flores in November of 2020, stopping him in the first round.
While Ortiz has failed to enter the ring since then, he confidently speaks of his work ethic and commitment to staying in the gym. Should the Cuban star pick up the victory against Martin, he isn’t expecting any of the former or current world champions to call him out publicly. Although he’s bemused by the lack of top names willing to face him, Ortiz believes he has an idea as to why his name isn’t exactly at the forefront of everyone’s mind.
“Maybe it’s because they got their panties in a bunch. I don’t know but I’ll be ready for when they call my name.”
Andy Ruiz Jr. Vs. Charles Martin Reportedly In Play
By: Hans Themistode
According to reports, Andy Ruiz Jr. could be on his way to stepping back into the ring before the year ends.
As first reported by ESPN Knockout, Ruiz Jr. (34-2, 22 KOs) is on the verge of finalizing a deal to take on former heavyweight champion Charles Martin. The two could face off as early as this coming October.
For Ruiz Jr., he desperately wants to place himself back in the championship mix. After scoring one of the biggest upsets in boxing history against Anthony Joshua in June of 2019, Ruiz Jr. saw his unexpected title reign come to an end shortly after.
A noticeably overweight Ruiz Jr. stepped into their immediate rematch six months later, lethargic and uninspired. He would lose a wide unanimous decision on the judge’s scorecards but vowed that he would turn things around.
After spending approximately a year and a half on the sidelines, the Mexican native would make his return to the ring against fringe contender Chris Arreola earlier this year in May. A conspicuous Ruiz Jr., who claims to have lost over 55 pounds, received mixed results for his performance in the ring. In the second round, Arreola landed a right hand over the top which sent Ruiz Jr. to the deck. He would, however, peel himself up off the canvas to cruise to a victory.
While Ruiz Jr. is motivated to wrap heavyweight gold around his waist once again, Martin (28-2-1, 25 KOs) is equally as eager to do the same. In January of 2016, Martin was handed the vacant IBF title after Vyacheslav Glazkov suffered a right knee injury during their showdown and was unable to continue.
The title reign of Martin was immediately truncated though, as Anthony Joshua pummeled him over the course of two rounds. Since then, Martin has gone on to win five of his past six contests, including a sixth-round stoppage over former titleholder Gerald Washington.
What’s Next For Otto Wallin?
By: Hans Themistode
Dominic Breazeale was viewed as a step-up fight. The kind that wouldn’t be an easy night at the office for Otto Wallin, but one that he should ultimately walk away from with his hand raised in victory if he wanted to place himself in title contention.
After 12 rounds with the former multiple-time title challenger, Wallin cruised past Breazeale and proved that another title shot could be just around the corner. Still, the Swedish product has more work to do if he wants to place himself in the front of the line when the dust at the top of the division clears between unified champion Anthony Joshua and WBC/Ring magazine belt holder, Tyson Fury, a man Wallin nearly defeated almost two years ago.
In order to get his next crack at a world title, Wallin will need to step up his competition. Luckily for him, the heavyweight division is filled with plenty of names that, if he beats, can place him on the map. Let’s take a look at the best matches to make for him next.
Charles Martin’s title win in January of 2016 was a bit fluky. His contest against Vyacheslav Glazkov ended early in his favor due to Glazkov suffering an injury to his right knee. The injury was so bad in fact, that Glazkov has never fought again.
Still, despite the fortunate win, Martin (28-2-1, 25 KOs) loss the title in his first defense against Anthony Joshua in the second round. Outside of an additional loss to Adam Kownacki in 2018, Martin has reeled off three straight stoppage wins. His title reign may have been a short one, but defeating a former world champion is exactly the sort of win that Wallin needs plastered on his own resume.
There’s a lot to like about Michael Hunter. Since making the move to the heavyweight division he’s won seven contests with a draw against top contender Alexander Povetkin sandwiched in between. He was last seen in the ring closing out his 2020 with a fourth-round knockout win over Shawn Laughery.
Hunter (19-1-1, 13 KOs) didn’t appear to be in the best of shape but he picked up the win and continues to rise. For Wallin, beating an older Dominic Breazeale is a solid win, however, taking down a younger, fresher fighter in Hunter would begin to turn a few heads.
Just when you think Dereck Chisora has nothing left in the tank, he turns back the clock a few years and makes everyone look a bit foolish. Going into his heavyweight showdown against Oleksandr Usyk in October of 2020, Chisora (32-10, 23 KOs) wasn’t given much of a shot. The expectations were for the British contender to get outboxed for 12 rounds and look lethargic while trying to catch up to his man. While he didn’t pick up the win, Chisora put up one helluva fight.
Chisora’s career has always been a rollercoaster ride. He lost three straight fights to Robert Helenius, Vitali Klitschko and David Haye in 2011/2012, then reeled off five straight. He was knocked out cold against Dillian Whyte in 2018, then bounced back and started leaving his opponents comatose for three straight contests.
Chisora would present Wallin with the ultimate risk but a decent reward as a win over him would make everyone take notice.
While a win over the other names on this list would make a few fans latch on to Wallin’s bandwagon, a victory over Luis Ortiz would make just about everyone jump on board.
Regardless of the dust on his birth certificate, the 41-year-old is still regarded as one of the best heavyweights in the world. Like most, the chin of Ortiz simply couldn’t hold up against the power of Deontay Wilder. Still, Ortiz (32-2, 27 KOs) carries around the sort of clout that Wallin needs.
Even at his current age, Ortiz is seldom, if ever called out. For Wallin, if he were able to not only call out the former title challenger but actually defeat him, he wouldn’t have to beg for a title shot. One would be presented to him immediately.
Kubrat Pulev is good, very good even but he doesn’t appear to be great. Under normal circumstances, Wallin would have little to gain in defeating him. With that being said, Pulev has the power of perception standing in his corner.
Just a few months ago, Pulev (28-2, 14 KOs) was standing across the ring from unified champion Anthony Joshua. Although it wasn’t exactly a close contest and despite Pulev getting knocked out in the ninth round, most of the boxing world remembers that he was at the very least, fighting for a world championship to begin with. Those opportunities aren’t given to just anyone.
A dominant win over him would make boxing fans compare performances. Considering the roll he’s on, if Wallin can somehow end things earlier than Joshua did, many will begin to consider Wallin as a worthy title contender.