Charles Martin would have taken Deontay Wilder fight if not for commitments

By Boxing News - 02/16/2016 - Comments

Image: Charles Martin would have taken Deontay Wilder fight if not for commitmentsBy Scott Gilfoid: Unbeaten IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin (23-0-1, 21 KOs) will be defending his title on foreign soil on April 9 against British fighter Anthony Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs) at the O2 Arena in London, England.

It’s somewhat of a disappointment to some that the talented 6’5” Martin is choosing to travel to the UK to fight Joshua in his own country in front of his own British fans. This could prove to be a big mistake if the fight goes to the scorecards because it’s possible that Martin could find himself on the wrong end of a hometown decision.

Martin’s promoter Leon Margules was interested in matching him up against WBC champion Deontay Wilder in an all-American unification fight. It would have been a big deal if he had made that fight. but unfortunately, Deontay has a commitment to his WBC mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin that he needs to get out of the way first before he’d be free to take on the likes of Martin.

“Wilder would have been the No. 1 option if we could have gotten him,” said Margules to “That would have been great- two American heavyweights. [But] everybody has their obligations. We didn’t want to fight any meaningless, keep-busy opponent.”

Margules did the smart thing in putting the 29-year-old Martin in the biggest money fight he could find for him in matching him against Joshua. That’s what I would have done if I were in the same boat as him, because you’ve got to go for the money when you have the chance of getting it. What I don’t agree with is having the fight staged in the UK. I think that’s potentially a bad mistake on the part of Martin and Margules because they could wind up getting robbed if the fight goes to the cards, which I think it will.

Joshua, 6’6”, has been knocking out all the guys he’s faced since he turned pro in 2013, but he’s done that against really weak opponents. Joshua is not a knockout puncher. He’s an arm puncher, who has gotten over on the horrid competition that his promoter Eddie Hearn has been putting in there with him inside the ring. With the kinds of opponents that Hearn has been matching against the 26-year-old Joshua, pretty much anyone in the top 15 could have an identical record as him.

“I think that Wilder is better than people think. I think he’s going to beat Povetkin,” said Margules. “And I think the Americans are back. I wasn’t impressed with Klitschko or Fury. Were you? Joshua, Wilder and Martin look like the better fighters of those five at this point. I’m not going to criticize Klitschko for his whole career but he’s 40 years old and who knows what he’s got left? And Fury almost got knocked out by Steve Cunningham (in 2013].”

Of course, Wilder is better than people think. The guy has untapped talent that he hasn’t been able to show off because he’s been knocking out everybody he’s faced since he turned pro with the exception of Bermane Stiverne. Deontay hasn’t been able to show off all the things that he can do inside the ring because his opponents tend to fall over after a little while of getting hit by him.

I think the Wilder-Povetkin fight will turn out to be a huge mismatch. They’re talking about making that fight take place in April in New York at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. After all the talk about how Povetkin will be the one to give Deontay his first loss of his career, I don’t see it happening like that. I think Povetkin is going to wind up getting exposed by Deontay the same way he was exposed by Wladimir Klitschko in their fight in 2013.

Deontay, 6’7”, will be free up to fight Martin after he takes care of Povetkin in April, and after Martin hopefully takes care of business with Joshua on April 9. IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Tyson Fury could also be in place for Deontay or Martin if Fury can get past the aging soon to be 40-year-old Wladimir Klitschko in the summer. Wladimir will be turning 40 in March, and he’s clearly nearing the end of his career. While I think Wladimir can beat Fury if he lets his hands go and throws his right hand with conviction, it’s still pretty clear that Wladimir doesn’t have much time left.

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