Jared Anderson will still face a powerful southpaw July 1, just one more accomplished and known to American boxing fans.
BoxingScene.com has learned that former IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin has replaced Zhan Kossobutskiy as Anderson’s opponent in a 10-round main event ESPN will televise a week from Saturday night from Huntington Center in Anderson’s hometown of Toledo, Ohio. Martin stepped in for Kossobutskiy on approximately 11 days’ notice because Kazakhstan’s Kossobutskiy has had difficulty obtaining a visa in time to travel to the United States to face Anderson.
Martin mentioned Anderson as a dangerous opponent he wanted to face during an interview with BoxingScene.com earlier this year (https://www.boxingscene.com/charles-martin-my-next-big-fight-against-jared-anderson-dubois-lenier-pero--172644). Though 37 years old and out of the ring for nine months, a motivated Martin didn’t hesitate to face the best young knockout artist in the heavyweight division with less than two weeks to prepare.
The 23-year-old Anderson has knocked out every opponent he has faced since he turned pro in November 2019. The 6-foot-4, 247-pound Anderson (14-0, 14 KOs) will take a significant step up in opposition when he meets Martin (29-3-1, 26 KOs), who has won a world title and faced a much better level of opposition than the 34-year-old Kossobutskiy (19-0, 18 KOs).
The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Martin was supposed to square off against Armenia’s Gurgen Hovhannisyan (4-0, 4 KOs) on the Gervonta Davis-Ryan Garcia undercard April 22 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Hovhannisyan suffered a rib injury while training, however, and their fight was postponed indefinitely. Rather than wait for his fight with the lesser-known Hovhannisyan to be rescheduled, Martin jumped at the opportunity to battle Anderson in the emerging contender’s hometown.
Las Vegas’ Martin knocked out 2004 U.S. Olympian Devin Vargas (22-8, 9 KOs) in the fourth round of his last fight, which was part of the Andy Ruiz-Ortiz undercard September 4 at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.
Anderson most recently stopped unbeaten Bronx native George Arias (18-1, 7 KOs) after the third round on the Shakur Stevenson-Shuichiro Yoshino undercard April 8 at Prudential Center in Stevenson’s hometown of Newark, New Jersey.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.