The co-main event saw former heavyweight champion Charles Martin (28-2-1, 25 KOs) score a one-punch knockout over Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington (20-4-1, 13 KOs) in the sixth-round of their showdown. This contest lead into the main event which saw Tyson Fury win over Deontay Wilder in the long-awaited rematch in Las Vegas on pay-per-view.
“I knew that I had him hurt a few times in the fight,” said Martin. “Every round I think I hurt him, but I just couldn’t finish him. I knew that I had to take my time in there. It took me some rounds to catch up with him because he’s very quick on the retreat.”
This contest was a tactical one with few exchanges until Martin landed a powerful left cross late in the sixth round to sending Washington to the mat, eventually forcing referee Tony Weeks to wave off the bout 1:57 into the round. The victory is Martin’s third-straight since the beginning of 2019.
IT'S OVER! ? Charles Martin KO's Gerald Washington in Round 6!
— FOX Sports: PBC (@PBConFOX) February 23, 2020
“The referee did what he thought was right,” said Washington. “He’s a top-notch ref so I won’t complain about the stoppage. He put me down and I got up, so I definitely wanted to get back to it.”
“This win means a lot,” said Martin. “It shows that I’ve been working hard. The people can see it. I was never hurt at any point. This has just given me more confidence in myself. I can take the punches and give the punches.”
The importance of this heavyweight contest was that this was an IBF title-eliminator for the #2 position. Martin is now behind fellow Premier Boxing Champion fighter Adam Kownacki now in the rankings with the victory. This would more than likely set up another IBF bout to determine the next mandatory challenger sometime down the line in 2020. It also would be a rematch of Martin-Kownacki of the bout they had in 2018 which Kownacki won by unanimous decision. We’ll see if that holds true as Kownacki is in action in March in a bout he is heavily favored to win against Robert “The Nordic Nightmare” Helenius.