Undefeated heavyweight boxer Jared Anderson, 23, was scheduled to face Zhan Kossobutskiy this past Saturday, but when Kossobutskiy, also undefeated, was forced to withdraw from the bout due to visa issues. Former IBF heavyweight world champion Charles Martin stepped in, perhaps posing a more difficult fight.
Yet Anderson (15-0, 14KOs) passed the biggest challenge of his career, going the distance and past the sixth round for the first time in his young career, soundly defeating the 37-year-old veteran boxer Martin (29-4-1, 26 KOs) via a 10-round unanimous decision at the Huntington Center in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio. The three judges scored the fight at 99-90, 98-91, and 99-90. Anderson retained his WBC-USNBC and WBO International heavyweight titles.
Although Anderson won at least eight rounds of the fight, Martin, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, seemingly had him in trouble in the fifth round. But Anderson showed he has a good chin, perseverance, and the ring acumen to make adjustments, surviving the round after he appeared hurt.
“Do I feel like he got me with a good shot and made me aware? Yes, so I had to readjust and get back to the game plan,” Anderson said after his win. “He took the fight on short notice. He came and performed really good. I think we put on a hell of a show for Toledo.”
Martin was equally complimentary of his opponent, who was 13 years his junior.
“He’s really good,” Martin said. “He’s a crafty boxer. Usually, when I catch somebody and hurt them, I can finish them. If they don’t fall, usually I can follow up and put them away. But he is like a little middleweight.
“He is crafty,” Martin went on. “He was able to get out even when he was rocked. He was able to maneuver and get out [of] the way. He’s going to be a champion.”
The upcoming weekend is a big one in combat sports. In Atlantic City, Jaron Ennis will defend his IBF interim welterweight title against Roiman Villa at Boardwalk Hall. Ennis has previously called out Errol Spence Jr., and is likely to do so again and throw in Terence Crawford. Spence and Crawford will face off on July 29 in a welterweight pairing that is as hyped and anticipated as any fight has been over the past half decade. The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas will be the site of Saturday’s UFC 290 card, with Alexander Volkanovski defending his featherweight championship against Yair Rodríguez. Volkanovski dared to be great and attempted to become a double champion in February, but lost to UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev. He will try to avoid back-to-back losses grappling with the dangerous Rodriguez. The prelims will take place at 8 p.m. on ESPN, with the pay-per-view beginning at 10 p.m. on ESPN+.
On July 15 in Detroit, Alycia Baumgardner will defend her WBC, IBF, WBO, WBA, IBO, and the Ring female super-featherweight titles against Christina Linardatou.