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Charles Martin: I got hit with a right hand I didn’t see

BOXINGBy Scott Gilfoid: Charles Martin (23-1-1, 21 KOs) says he didn’t see the right hand that dropped him for his first knockdown of his 2nd round stoppage loss to Anthony Joshua (16-0, 16 KOs) last Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London, UK. This wasn’t a good fight. I don’t like how the fight was stopped at the seven count instead of the normal 10 count. Martin still was ready to fight back when it was stopped. It was sad, really sad the way it was stopped.

From the clips I saw of the knockdown, it appeared that Martin’s right hand was held high and he didn’t see Joshua’s right hand that hit him and dropped him. It was a slow right hand and not particularly powerful looking.

Even David Haye mentioned how he had no problems tracking Joshua’s slow punches. Martin didn’t see it through, and it was curtains after he was knocked down. After he got up from the knockdown, he failed to clinch and Joshua hit him with another painfully slow right hand that dropped him for the second time.

Where things get kind of dicey is with Martin getting back up to beat the count, and the referee stopping it anyway. I had Martin beating the count with ease, but referee Jean-Pierre Van Imschoot halted it anyway. I’m not sure how fast he was counting, but I had Martin getting up at the count of seven. The referee Imschoot stopped it at 1:32 of the 2nd.

“I got hit with a right hand I didn’t see and that cost the fight. I was okay but [the referee] came over at six. I got to my knee at seven, took a deep breath and then when I stood up,” said Martin via

So there it is. Martin beat the count and the fight was stopped anyway. How sad. I thought Martin would have been able to collect himself if given another chance. It’s so sad that the fight was halted prematurely before things were allowed to play out in normal fashion.
“It was just that his right hand was fast. I didn’t see the shot. He had good speed. I’d take it right to him, don’t give him any respect. That’s the only thing I see,” Martin.

I can understand Martin being a little confused about the speed or lack thereof of Joshua’s right hand that knocked him down for the first time in the 2nd round. I’ve seen that clip maybe 100 times now, and played it backwards and forwards, and Joshua’s right hand looks slow and badly telegraphed each time I watch it.

All I can think of is that maybe Martin’s right hand was held a tad bit too high, and that may have obscured his own vision. I mean, how can he not have seen that right hand from Joshua. It was like he was punching inside of a pool. Joshua wound up to throw it, and you could see it from a mile away. Even if Martin didn’t see the punch, he should have seen Joshua wind up his body to throw it.

YouTube video

The win proved nothing for Joshua because Martin was clearly not thinking straight after the first knockdown. He didn’t see the punch and he admits that. You can’t fault Martin for not seeing a punch. I’m not saying there should be a do over to make it a little fairer, but I could see how that might be the best thing if Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn were willing to go in that direction. I’m under no illusion that Hearn will do that. He’s obviously going to move on and look to get the most cash he can for Joshua, be it against the likes of David Haye or Tyson Fury. Hearn is already flapping his gums about wanting to make one or both of those fights happen.

Martin is an incredible talent. I think he’ll come back from this load after he hits the reset button on his career. He just needs to fine tune his defense a tad bit, and he needs to focus on throwing a few more punches. I don’t believe in giving one’s opponent the kind of respect that Martin was giving Joshua. If it were me in the ring last Saturday night, they would have had to pull me off of Joshua because I would have been fighting tooth and nail. There would have been no hesitation on my part to take Joshua out. Martin just needs to be taught to fight like that. He’s got the skills. He just needs to learn to be less inhibited in the ring.

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