Former heavyweight world champion Charles Martin (25-1-1, 23 KOs) has promised to return with a vengeance.
Martin, in his first tough assignment in over two years, will face Adam Kownacki on September 8 as part of the Shawn Porter vs. Danny Garcia undercard at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Martin, who captured the IBF world title, lost the belt in April 2016 when he was easily stopped by Anthony Joshua in three rounds. The bout saw Joshua capture his first world title in the fight.
Since then, Martin took off for a year and then had two quick fights to sharpen up his skills and shake off the ring rust.
"My whole career from the amateurs to the pros was back-to-back-to-back and I never had any time off. I wanted time off, period. I did everything in a short amount of time, and was fast-tracked through the amateurs. Bam, bam, bam - fight after fight after fight. It was crazy. In the pros I had 11 fights in one year. But I haven't missed a step. I'm still that same guy - but better, sharper and tightened up," Martin told Sky Sports.
Martin never explains the exact details, but says his preparation for the Joshua fight was severely tainted.
Now he wants to reclaim his title, which is still owned by Joshua - who now also holds the IBO, WBO, WBA world titles.
"I had two fights in 2017, know what I'm saying? Tune-up fights," he said. "I got what I needed from them. It was just what I had to do, before going back up to the big leagues. It's a process, that's all. Absolutely I have enjoyed every minute. The training is hard but it's worthwhile, to get me to where I want to be. I'm going back to get my belt back."
"That wasn't a fight. I don't consider that a real fight, man. He never saw me. That wasn't no Charles Martin. People don't know… That's why a lot of the people that were with me, aren't around me now. Dumb decisions cost people their jobs. [The experience] was cool. It didn't go how I wanted, because of things that happened during the process. It wasn't perfect, for sure."
According to Martin, he's willing to return to the UK to pursue other big fight opportunities.
"I'm smarter now. I don't do the things that I used to do. I'm better at decision-making, I'm wiser, and I'm older. That's the key. Yes, I'd come back. There's good people [in the UK], absolutely. I don't have no regrets," Martin said.