Charles "Prince" Martin (23-0-1, 21 KOs) is officially set for the first defense of his IBF Heavyweight title on Saturday, April 9th, facing fellow undefeated power-puncher Anthony Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs) at O2 Arena in London. Martin enters the bout as IBF champion after claiming the vacant belt by defeating Vyacheslav Glazkov (21-1-1, 13 KOs) in Brooklyn this past January.
The 29-year-old Martin heads overseas for the first time of his professional career to meet Joshua, who has yet to leave the United Kingdom during his 15-bout pro campaign. Martin is currently riding a 13-fight knockout streak, while Joshua has stopped all 15 opponents he has faced in his professional career.
Glazkov stands as the most significant name on his professional resume, but Martin also has other key results of note in his favor. In addition to Glazkov, the California native handed Vincent Thompson, Glendy Hernandez and Alexander Flores their first loss, and he stands as the only fighter who has stopped Philadelphia slugger Joey Dawejko.
Martin enters the April 9th bout as a significant underdog, but the hard-hitting southpaw has not let that slight his confidence at all. While the Glazkov contest ended rather unsatisfyingly (the fight was stopped in the third frame when the Ukranian suffered a knee injury and was unable to continue), Martin predicts a much more entertaining finish against Joshua and has told various members of the media that he will knock him out in explosive fashion.
Needless to say, Joshua conflicts that prediction, and he looks to put on another show in front of his hometown fans. Only three of the British fighter's opponents have made it past the second frame, with his most recent outing against then-undefeated heavyweight Dillian Whyte (16-1, 13 KOs) more than doubling any of his previous workdays. In that bout, Joshua broke down Whyte over six rounds before blasting him with a right uppercut in the seventh frame that ultimately resulted in a TKO stoppage shortly thereafter. With the win, he claimed the WBC International, British Commonwealth and BBBofC British heavyweight belts.
By looking at the odds on the William Hill boxing betting website, smart money shows to be on Joshua’s side for this IBF World Championship scrap, one must be reminded that this is the heavyweight division, and a single punch from one of these heavy-handed individuals can turn the fight on its head at any point. The first three rounds should be very telling, if this bout lasts that long. Most pundits feel Joshua is his most dangerous early, but Martin could possibly grind out a late round victory if he is able to survive the early attack of the British slugger. Obviously, online bookmakers will be very busy in the next month leading up to this championship contest.
Victory for either man will certainly bring much more than just the spoils of a heavyweight world title as well. With a win, the victor will find himself in a very rewarding situation and almost certainly sets himself up for a unification bout with either WBA champion Lucas Browne or the winner of a mandatory title fight between WBC champion Deontay Wilder and Alexander Povetkin in the coming months.