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Charles Martin: I’m ready for everything Kownacki can bring

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By Jim Dower: Former IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin (25-1-1, 23 KOs) says he’s fully ready for unbeaten knockout artist Adam Kownacki (17-0, 14 KOs) this Saturday night in their fight on Showtime Championship Boxing at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

(Photo credit: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME)

Martin vs. Kownacki will be fighting on the undercard of the welterweight match between Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter. Those two will be fighting for the vacant WBC welterweight title.

Martin, 32, wants to recapture a world title after losing his IBF belt to Anthony Joshua two years ago in a 2nd round knockout in London, England. Martin has won two fights since then over soft opposition and he’s now ready to take a tough test in Kownacki. If the 6’5” Martin can beat the 29-year-old Kownacki it’s going to put him in shoot him up the heavyweight rankings.

Depending on whether #9 WBC Martin has improved or not, that could be a good thing for a bad thing for him to get another world title shot. The last time, Martin looked hopelessly over-matched against Joshua.

If Martin has improved, then maybe he can compete the next time he fights for a world title. Martin may not get that far if he doesn’t let his hands go against Kownacki. In Martin’s loss to Joshua, he looked petrified and unable to throw anything back at him. The moment was too much for Martin and he froze in the spotlight. He can’t do that again.

“When I’m at my best, nobody can beat me. There’s no one in the world who can beat the best version of Charles Martin. I’m the only one that can beat me,” Martin said. “I have the advantage everywhere over Kownacki. I’m just a better fighter but I’m also bigger and stronger.”

Martin hasn’t beaten anyone good enough to say for sure that he’s a better fighter than Kownacki. The only notable wins on Martin’s six-year resume were against Joey Dawejko and Vyacheslav Glazkov. Dawejko is a journeyman level fighter, and Glazkov suffered a bad right knee injury in the 2nd round of their fight in 2016.

There’s no way of knowing how that fight would have played out if Glazkov hadn’t been so badly injured. The only talented uninjured fighter that Martin has fought during his career is Joshua, and he lost to him by a 2nd round knockout. As such, Kownacki has to be seen as having a very good chance of beating Martin on Saturday night.

Kownacki has looked sharp recently in defeating Iago Kiladze and former heavyweight world title challenger Artur Szpilka by knockouts in his last two fights. Off of those performances, you have to give Kownacki a very good chance of defeating Martin if he can land his power shots. Kownacki has been a pro since 2009. Only recently he’s started to step it up against better opposition.

“Martin is a big strong fighter who’s a very good counter puncher. He kind of mixes different styles, but I’ll be prepared for everything he can bring to the ring,” Kownacki said.

The key to victory for Kownacki is to take the fight to Martin immediately and look to take him with heavy shots the way that Joshua did. Kownacki can’t let Martin get his offense rolling because he can punch.


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