By Terence Dooley
IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin (23-0-1, 21 KOs) and challenger Anthony Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs) went head-to-head in London today to formally announce their April 9 clash. The fight takes place at the city’s O2 Arena and will be shown live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Martin is making the first defence of the belt he won with an injury induced stoppage over Vyacheslav Glazkov last month. The title was up for grabs after Tyson Fury opted against taking up his IBF mandatory as he intends to honour his contractual rematch clause and face Wladimir Klitschko a second time.
Eddie Hearn revealed that it has become tough to line foes up for his imposing charge before telling the assembled press that Martin jumped at the chance to come to the U.K. and defend his belt.
“It has been sixteen-years since the world heavyweight title has been contested in London,” he said (quotes courtesy of iFilm London). “Tickets sold out in ninety-seconds. This man called Anthony's name and this man wanted to to fight him, so many others didn’t.”
The 26-year-old added the British belt to his collection by stopping London rival Dillian Whyte in December; the former Olympic Gold Medallist vowed to win the title and entertain the fans come fight night. “Credit to Charles Martin for saying he wants to come and fight me,” said Joshua.
“We are not hard to work with, we got the deal done and it will be another unbelievable night of boxing again, a game changer. April 9th will be a massive night of entertainment, the undercard will be unbelievable.”
He added: “The objective is to win and capture the rewards that come with it. We’ve got two old-school boxers bringing boxing back. It will be a hard night’s work and I look forward to putting on a good show. The road laid out for me as an amateur was a fast-track road, luckily it is the same as a professional.”
Martin, though, intends to derail the Joshua gravy train. The 29-year-old southpaw believes he will win the fight and win over the British fans in the process. “People have been really nice since I've been here, I might even move over here one day,” he stated.
“I love London. Ain't nobody taking this (title) from me—it's my baby. He's a big hype job over here—I'm coming to take his fans.”
The bookies have installed Joshua as the favourite. Martin, though, believes his opponent has stepped up too quickly and will be forced to rebuild following the fight. He said: “I'm not worried about what people think—I'm coming to the golden child's turf to win. I will put in a show and show everyone why I’m heavyweight champion of the world.
“This man right here won an Olympic Gold Medal, but I don’t think he is ready. I think he’s too smart for his own good. You will find out what these [holding up his fists] are about April 9th.”
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Martin vs. Joshua A Hot Ticket, Sells Out O2 Arena In 90 Seconds
By Terence Dooley
[QUOTE=gmc_rfc_06;16480381]While true, I don't think fans should be getting ripped off or forced to miss out on fights due to the greed of guys like Hearn. [/QUOTE] Hearn's job is to make as much money as possible. He's offering an…Comment by LacedUp on 02-20-2016
[QUOTE=Evil_Meat;16480669]I'm seeing +450 on my site for a Martin win (any win). This already seems kind of wide in favor of Joshua you are thinking Martin will become an even bigger underdog?[/QUOTE] Definitely not. But I think you'll get better…Comment by Chrismart on 02-19-2016
Echoing what others have said. The whole Matchroom/Stub hub deal isn't good for the fans trying to get a ticket on general sale at legit prices.Comment by ianjamsie on 02-19-2016
Bookies know better than us. Martin will be at least 15 to 1 by fight Night on UK betting sites. Height, reach, skill, speed, condition and home town advantage. It is stupid as backing against FrankelComment by robbyheartbaby on 02-19-2016
Props to Martin for wanting to get paid, if he beats Joshua good for him. Good luck though.Post a Comment - View More User Comments (36)