Is Prince Charles a Pauper to the rest of the Heavyweight Division?
by Hector Franco
On Saturday night boxing crowned a new IBF heavyweight champion. After the IBF stripped Tyson Fury of the title for facing Wladimir Klitschko in a rematch, the organization decided to put its #1 contender Vyacheslav Glazkov against the undefeated Charles Martin. Glazkov was known for getting unpopular decisions and Martin was an unknown entity in the division. After Saturday, Martin still is.
After two uneventful rounds where both fighters traded jabs at the center of the ring, the bout suddenly came to a halt in the third round. Martin began to put a bit more pressure on Glazkov and suddenly, Glazkov fell and hurt his ankle. After another exchange where Glazkov threw a shot to the body of Martin he collapsed on the floor and was unable to continue. Martin is now the new IBF heavyweight champion. While very little was known about Martin before the bout, even less is known about Martin afterwards. Fans weren’t shown anything that would suggest how he would fare against other heavyweights in the division. Simply put Martin looked slow in the ring. In the post fight press conference Martin was challenged by former heavyweight contender Derek Chisora to a bout. Martin more than any other fighter in the division has a target on his back. For the rest of the division, Martin looks like the easiest road to a heavyweight title.
As a world champion Martin would be the underdog against most of the top ten at heavyweight. Fighters like Alexander Povetkin, Kubrat Pulev, Malik Scott, Bryant Jennings, David Haye and Luis Ortiz would all be favored over Martin. It remains to be seen if Martin would actually step in the ring with any of these fighters. Unification bouts with Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder would be considered mismatches at this point. Martin is in the position where he holds a world title, but he has the look of a prospect.
Since Martin is on the Haymon side of the promotional divide he will likely be pushed into unification with Wilder. Martin could be built up against competition like former cruiserweight champion, Steve Cunningham. Cunningham would be a good test for Martin. It could show that he is, at least, a legitimate contender at heavyweight. Many heavyweights who have been on the scene for a while will be looking to challenge Martin. Bermane Stiverne could make his comeback against Martin to once again regain a title. Alexander Povetkin could bypass hit title shot against Wilder to challenge Martin for his title. Martin needs to be careful of the path he chooses to go on.
Tyson Fury invading the ring after both Martin and Wilders title victories could have been a symbol of an invasion that is close to fruition. British heavyweight star, Anthony Joshua is looking for a heavyweight title match in 2016. While he is ranked in the top 5 in the WBC, a shot against Martin may give Joshua a title and lead to huge unification bouts against Wilder and Fury. The division is more open that it has been for years. Fights will be made available to Charles Martin and it will be up to him to show if he is a Prince or Pauper.