High stakes in Charles Martin vs Gerald Washington eliminator
WHEN: Saturday, February 22
WHERE: MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV
NETWORK: FOX/ESPN PPV
TIME: 9:00 PM ET
Black history month is getting a huge treat in boxing’s most famous division, and it’s most prestigious belt will be on the line.
WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Washington (42-0-1, 41ko) once again will face the enigma persona known as Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury (29-0-1, 20ko).
While the boxing community awaits the conclusion of this epic sequel, there is a fight on the undercard that has its own drama. Here, the consequences for defeat will mean the end of a career.
Former IBF champion Charles “Prince” Martin (27-2-1, 24ko) will bump heads with former title contender Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington (20-3-1, 13ko). In an IBF title eliminator, both men are getting another title opportunity after suffering severe career setbacks.
A TROUBLED CHAMPION
Martin’s career was on a hot streak, and his biggest break came when an opportunity to fight for the vacant IBF title arose back in 2016. The 33-year-old Southpaw boxer jumped at the chance and won the the vacant title.
Normally, things are supposed to go up after winning the title. However, for Martin, they went down. The “self-proclaimed” Prince (and God) suffered his first defeat to current unified champion Anthony “AJ” Joshua (23-1, 21ko).
Following the defeat, the former champion came under heavy scrutiny for his performance. He would later blame outside distractions, saying mentally he wasn’t all there. Furthermore, the former champion wouldn’t return to the ring for a year, following a chain of bizarre events from making YouTube videos ranting and raving to being shot.
The former champion returned in 2017 and had two nice wins before losing again to top prospect Adam “Babyface” Kownacki (20-0, 15ko). Martin is on a two-fight win-streak and currently ranks #11 with the IBF.
THE UPS AND DOWNS
Washington has a similar story. After a promising start, the former NFL football player turned boxer got the phone call of a lifetime to compete for the WBC championship.
The 37-year-old California fighter was doing well until the Bronze Bomber landed that money punch right-hand and the rest was history. However, that wasn’t the nail in the career coffin. He would then suffer devastating defeats to Gerald “Big Baby” Miller and common foe Kownacki.
Things almost went south against veteran Robert “The Nordic Nightmare” Helenius (29-3, 18ko) before the former title contender was able to turn things around and score the 8th round knockout.
Surviving that scary moment kept his career on life support just enough that the #9 rated fighter’s title opportunity is hanging in the balance.
IT’S WIN OR GO HOME
This is a critical fight with so much at stake, a defeat will send the loser not just to the back of the line, but off the bus entirely. It’s undoubtedly the absolute last chance either of them will have.
The heavyweight division is moving at a rapid pace with new challenges and young talent rejuvenating the division. Catch all the PPV action at the MGM Grand Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada on February 22.
By: Garrisson Bland