Charles Martin and Gerald Washington will lock horns in an eliminator!
Former IBF heavyweight champion “Prince” Charles Martin (27-2-1, 24KO) will continue his route to another world title opportunity when he takes on former title contender Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington (20-3-1, 13KO) in an IBF eliminator.
The bout will take place on the under-card of the rematch between WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury February 22.
The current mandatory of the organization is Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev who is widely expected to be the next opponent for unified champion Anthony Joshua.
Both men last fought on the same card in July 2019. Martin defeated little known contender Daniel Martz by fourth round knockout. Meanwhile, Washington defeated former top contender Robert Helenius, stopping him in the eighth.
Since losing his title to Joshua in 2016 and recovering from what seemed to be a mental breakdown that saw him out of the ring for a year, the IBF eleventh ranked contender has won four of his last five bouts.
Three of which were by knockout while the fourth was a disqualification victory over then undefeated heavyweight Gregory Corbin. As many felt the undefeated fighter would get the scalp of a former champion added to his victory list, Martin’s boxing ability from the southpaw position frustrated Corbin from round one.
This resulted in Corbin into committing repeated low-blows. Eventually, referee Mark Calo-oy would suspend the bout and award the victory to Martin.
After defeating a declining early-mid 2000’s top heavyweight contender in Ray Austin in 2016, Washington picked up a pair of losses to Wilder and wildcard contender Jarrell Miller in 2017. The two loses dramatically dropped Washington’s stock and had many fans claiming the 37 year-old should hang them up.
Including those loses, he is 2-3 in his last five bouts! A win over Helenius in 2019 (a fight in which many thought he would lose) somewhat revitalized him and has shed more light at the end of the tunnel that resembles his career.
The IBF ninth ranked contender has only fought for a world title once in his eight year career and is looking to get that opportunity again.
Both men took losses to WBO/IBF/WBA #3 and WBC #8 ranked contender Adam Kownacki. Washington was stopped in two rounds in January of 2019 while Martin went the distance in an exciting match-up of non-stop action to drop a unanimous decision.
This isn’t the greatest match-up for an eliminator given the winner would most likely lose to either Joshua or Pulev. However, at the level the two men are, this could be good match-up to help set the stage for Wilder vs Fury II!
By: EJ Williams