Ex-IBF champion wants Ajagba faceoff

By Daily Sports Nigeria on August 23, 2023

Former IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin hopes his solid showing on short notice against Jared Anderson leads to another meaningful opportunity in his next fight, with Nigerian boxer Efe Ajagba on his radar.

Martin became the first professional opponent to take the vaunted Anderson the distance Saturday night. He seemed to buzz Anderson in both the fifth and 10th rounds, but Anderson comfortably beat him on all three scorecards to remain undefeated(99-90, 99-90, 99-91).

“The old me could have never fought Jared Anderson on 11 days’ notice,” Martin told BoxingScene.com.

“I have a whole different mindset now. Win, lose or draw, I just wanna fight the best and make entertaining fights. I heard Efe Ajagba and Lenier Pero are possibilities. If not, I’ll take on another young prospect that no one wants to fight.”

Like Anderson, Ajagba (17-1, 13 KOs) has a promotional contract with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc.

“I don’t have any more time to waste,” Martin said. “I wanna fight in another big fight before the end of this year. I’ve always been my own worst enemy. I’d be off six to 12 months, roll off the sofa, take a fight and train for four or five weeks. It took me a long time to realise you can’t do that and be the best. Now I live in the gym, and hopefully it showed.

“Next time you see me, I’ll have a proper training camp and be even better. When I look back on my career, I don’t wanna have any regrets about what could have been. I just hope people realise it’s not only about money for me anymore. I wanna be active and fight the best before I retire.”

The 37-year-old also wants a shot at redeeming himself against Anthony Joshua. The then unbeaten British-Nigerian superstar dropped Martin twice and knocked him out in the second round to win the IBF belt from him in April 2016 at O2 Arena in London.

“I wanna fight Anthony Joshua so bad that I will donate my entire purse to a charity if he beats me,” Martin said. “I fought AJ with a fractured rib, and it was the worst mistake of my life. I’ve taken sh*t for it since that day. He’ll never get back in the ring with me. He knows he got me at my worst.”

Ajagba on the other hand is set to face Zhan Kossobutskiy at the Hard Rock Hotel And Casino Tulsa in Catoosa, United States August 26.

“This is a great test for me as I continue my quest to become Nigeria’s next heavyweight champion,” Ajagba said.

“I am coming to Tulsa to secure a devastating knockout and remind everyone of what I am capable of doing inside the ring.”

Source Punch Ng

Posted August 23, 2023


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