Unbeaten rising heavyweight contender Jared “Real Big Baby” Anderson has a new opponent for his main event fight in his hometown next month.
Top Rank Boxing made the official announcement Wednesday afternoon that veteran Charles Martin will now step in on about 10 days notice to challenge Anderson on the ESPN show in Toledo, OH.
From the Top Rank release:
“The homecoming for heavyweight sensation Jared “The Real Big Baby” Anderson is still on, but the man in the opposing corner has changed. After undefeated Kazakh contender Zhan Kossobutskiy was forced to withdraw due to a delay in obtaining his visa, former world champion “Prince” Charles Martin has stepped up to face Anderson on Saturday, July 1 at the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio….
“We weren’t going to let anything spoil the Toledo party,” Anderson said. “I have a new opponent, but it will be the same outcome.”
Martin said, “I’ve always said I will fight anyone, anywhere, anytime. If I have to fight on less than two weeks’ notice to get a big opportunity, so be it. I’m ready. And since I can’t get the best guys from my generation to fight me, I’ll fight the best guy from the new generation. My goal is to become a two-time heavyweight champion. I have to beat Jared Anderson to accomplish my goal.”
Anderson (14-0, 14 KOs) has only been extended past three rounds twice in a career that began with a first-round stoppage in October 2019. From April 2021 to December 2022, he notched five consecutive second-round knockouts, including one over the normally durable Jerry Forrest. Anderson began his 2023 campaign in April with a third-round stoppage over the previously undefeated George Arias.
Martin (29-3-1, 26 KOs), a 37-year-old St. Louis native, captured the IBF heavyweight world title in January 2016 with a third-round TKO over Vyacheslav Glazkov. Martin lost his title to Anthony Joshua less than three months later, but he has remained a force on the heavyweight scene. He is 6-2 since the Joshua setback, including a highlight-reel stoppage over Gerald Washington in 2020. Martin is coming off a fourth-round knockout against Devin Vargas last September in Los Angeles.”
Anderson is the most intriguing American heavyweight contender at the moment, especially with his knockout string to begin his career having risen to fourteen straight. The bout for the hard punching southpaw with Kossobutskiy was to have been a battle of “up and comers.” However, it has now switched to Anderson meeting an aged veteran in Martin, who has some credibility left.
Though, the former IBF brief title holder Martin did lose by sixth round KO to Luis “King Kong” Ortiz on January 1st, 2022.
Anderson-Martin and a 10-round heavyweight co-feature between unbeaten punchers Arslanbek Makhmudov and Nigeria’s Raphael Akpejiori will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.