Former champion Charles Martin to return on Ruiz-Ortiz undercard

Former heavyweight world champion Charles Martin will highlight non-televised undercard action when he takes on former U.S. Olympian Devin Vargas in an eight-round attraction on September 4 in PBC action during Labor Day Weekend from Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.

The event is topped by a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT featuring former unified heavyweight world champion Andy “The Destroyer” Ruiz Jr. battling top contender Luis “King Kong “ Ortiz in a WBC Heavyweight Title Eliminator in the main event.

The non-televised lineup will also include unbeaten Mexican flyweight Juan García (10-0-2, 7 KOs) in a four-round bout taking on Gilberto Mendoza (19-13-3, 19 KOs), plus a battle of unbeaten lightweights as Los Angeles’ Anthony Cuba (4-0-1, 3 KOs) faces Houston’s Óscar Pérez (5-0, 4 KOs) in a six-round attraction.

Rounding out the card is San Francisco’s Anthony Garnica (9-0-1, 5 KOs) in a six-round super bantamweight matchup against Anthony Casillas (8-2, 4 KOs), super lightweight Jesús Carrillo (10-7-2, 4 KOs) in an eight-round attraction and lightweight prospect Kel Spencer (1-0), the younger brother of rising super welterweight Joey Spencer, stepping into the ring for a four-round duel.

Martin (28-3-1, 25 KOs) became heavyweight champion in January 2016 when he won by TKO against then unbeaten Vyacheslav Glazkov. After losing his title to Anthony Joshua, Martin won five of six fights, with all of those wins coming inside the distance. Originally from St. Louis, now living in Las Vegas and currently training in Southern California with Manny Robles, Martin most recently challenged Luis Ortiz in a New Year’s Day showdown that saw him send Ortiz to the canvas twice before eventually losing in round six.

A 2004 U.S. Olympian, Vargas (22-7, 9 KOs) has fought professionally since 2004 and was a two-time National Golden Gloves Heavyweight Champion as an amateur. Originally from Toledo, Ohio, Vargas last fought in November 2020, dropping a contest to unbeaten Zhilei Zhang. Throughout his career, Vargas has challenged champions and top prospects and contenders including Andy Ruiz Jr., Dominic Breazeale and Junior Fa.

Ortiz-Martin headline FOX PPV on New Year’s Day

The new year will kick off with a heavyweight bang, as five exciting heavyweight matchups take center stage on a jam-packed FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View on New Year’s Day live from Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

The main event will see top heavyweight Luis “King Kong” Ortiz take on former world champion Charles Martin in a 12-round IBF Heavyweight Title Eliminator. In the co-main event, unbeaten rising heavyweight star Frank “The Cuban Flash” Sanchez will square off against Puerto Rican Olympian Carlos Negron in a 10-round attraction.

The pay-per-view telecast begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and will also see heavyweight contenders Jonnie Rice and Michael Coffie battle in a 10-round rematch, former title challenger Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington in a 10-round showdown against Turkish Olympian Ali Eren Demirezen and unbeaten Viktor Faust facing Iago Kiladze in a 10-round attraction to open the pay-per-view.

With exceptional power and sublime technical skills, Ortiz (32-2, 27 KOs) has been a fixture atop heavyweight rankings for years, with his only defeats coming in memorable contests against former longtime heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. Born in Camaguey, Cuba and trained by longtime coach Herman Caicedo in Miami, Ortiz won three bouts between Wilder contests, defeating Travis Kauffman, Christian Hammer and Razvan Cojanu. Prior to that run, Ortiz picked up victories over the likes of Bryant Jennings, Tony Thompson and Malik Scott to build up his heavyweight resume. Most recently, Ortiz blasted out Alexander Flores in the first round of their November 2020 bout.

“I can’t wait to give my fans in South Florida a great show on New Year’s Day and earn another shot at the heavyweight title,” said Ortiz. “Charles Martin is a good fighter, but he’s standing in my way. The only thing on my mind is getting in the ring and making a big statement in this fight to show again why I’m feared by the heavyweight division.”

The 35-year-old Martin (28-2-1, 25 KOs) became heavyweight champion in January 2016 when he won by TKO against then unbeaten Vyacheslav Glazkov. After losing his title to Anthony Joshua, Martin has won five of his last six fights, with all of his wins coming inside the distance. Originally from St. Louis, now living in Las Vegas and currently training in Southern California with Manny Robles, Martin bounced back from a narrow decision defeat to Adam Kownacki in 2018 to earn three-straight victories, including most recently knocking out Gerald Washington in February 2020.

“Nobody wants to fight me and nobody wants to fight Ortiz, so we’ll fight each other,” said Martin. “I’m going to show the world on January 1 why I deserve a title shot. I’ve paid my dues and I want my belt back. Beating Ortiz is going to get me one step closer to that goal. In order to become two-time heavyweight champion, I have to get past Ortiz first, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”

An amateur standout from his native Cuba, Sánchez (19-0, 13 KOs) now trains in San Diego with top trainer Eddy Reynoso. The 29-year-old has stayed busy on his rise up the heavyweight rankings, scoring three victories in 2020 as he earned a unanimous decision over Joey Dawejko and stopped Brian Howard and Julian Fernandez. Sanchez most recently scored a career-best win in October, dropping previously unbeaten Efe Ajagba on his way to a unanimous decision victory.

“I’m happy to be back so soon after beating Agjaba, but the work is only beginning,” said Sanchez. “There’s much more to be done. I believe I will be the first heavyweight champion in Cuban history. Negron is a strong, dangerous opponent. I’ll have to be my best, but I’m confident that I will come out victorious. I believe in my team, and my team believes in me. We’ll start the New Year off getting to 20-0, remain busy and make a strong case for a world title by year’s end.”

The 2008 Puerto Rican Olympian Negron (25-3, 20 KOs) rides a five-fight winning streak into January 1, including four wins by stoppage. The 34-year-old bounced back from defeats to Dominic Breazeale and Brian Howard to put together his win streak, which includes a March 2020 knockout over previously unbeaten Robert Alfonso. Negron has fought professionally since 2009 and now lives in Miami where he trains alongside Luis Ortiz.

“This is a great opportunity for me to get a win over a strong up-and-coming fighter and show everyone what I’m capable of,” said Negron. “I’m training hard and I’ve had great sparring in order to be ready for anything that Sanchez is going to bring. My experience and preparation are going to be the difference. I’m extremely motivated to give the fans a great fight and put myself in position to get a world title opportunity.”

Born in South Carolina and now fighting out of Los Angeles, Rice (14-6-1, 10 KOs) will look to repeat a career-best performance in the rematch against Coffie, after he stopped the previously unbeaten fighter in the fifth-round in July. Rice won six of seven fights from 2018 through 2019  before a pair of losses in 2020 against then unbeatens Efe Ajagba and Demsey McKean. In a pro career that dates back to 2014, the blemishes on Rice’s records have all come against previously unbeaten fighters.

“In my last fight against Coffie, I went in there to prove myself and do what I had been training to do,” said Rice. “It was sink or swim, and I came out on top. Now I have to go out there on January 1 and show that it wasn’t a fluke. This is a great stage for me to display my talents and prove that I’m capable of big things. I’m looking to give the fans a great performance and I know that Coffie is doing the same. Don’t miss this fight.”

Coffie (12-1, 9 KOs) hopes to bounce back from his first career defeat after dropping the first matchup against Rice in July. A Marine Corps veteran who picked up boxing after returning from overseas, Coffie quickly impressed in amateur tournaments enough to earn sparring assignments with Deontay Wilder and Adam Kownacki. He was born in the Bronx, but now trains in Orlando, Florida and broke through in 2020 with three dominating stoppage victories, including knockouts over previously unbeaten opponents Darmani Rock and Luis Pena.

“I want to get it back and make it an actual fight this time against Jonny Rice,” said Coffie. “Last time, I was in a position where I faced some adversity, and I had to make a decision to go through with the fight. I know that I can fight through adversity, and on January 1, I will be ready for whatever way the fight goes. On January 1, there will be a fight.”

Washington (20-4-1, 13 KOs) is a six-foot-six heavyweight contender who was a former college football standout at the University of Southern California and a U.S. Navy veteran. Born in San Jose, California, Washington most recently lost a contest against former heavyweight champion Charles Martin in February 2020. Prior to that fight, Washington had delivered a knockout of veteran contender Robert Helenius in July 2019. Washington was unbeaten in his first 19 pro fights before dropping his world title challenge to Deontay Wilder in February 2017.

“I’m looking forward to stepping back in the ring on January 1,” said Washington. “I’m ready to go to work and get myself back in position for some big time fights. My experience is going to be the difference in this fight. It’s going to be a great night of heavyweight action!”

A 2016 Olympian for Turkey, Demirezen (14-1, 11 KOs) has fought out of Hamburg, Germany in the professional ranks since turning pro in late 2016. The 31-year-old won his first 11 pro fights, including a second round stoppage of Rad Rashid to capture a European heavyweight title in 2018. Demirezen made his only other U.S. start in 2019, when he became the first person to go the distance against Efe Ajagba, losing by decision. Since that defeat, Demirezen has scored three-straight victories, most recently stopping Nikola Milacic in March.

“I learned a lot from my loss to Ajagba and I’m looking forward to getting another chance to box in the U.S.,” said Demirezen. “I’m still angry about the Ajagba fight, because I know that I could have won. I want to show now that I belong on this stage. I’m proud to be in this position to show what I can do and I’m going to make the most of the opportunity.”

The 29-year-old Faust (8-0, 6 KOs) turned pro in February 2020 after an extensive amateur career fighting out of his native Svitlovodsk, Ukraine. Faust knocked out his first four opponents, before winning dominant six and eight round decisions. After a first round knockout over previously unbeaten Jacek Piatek in May, Faust made his U.S. debut in October, dropping Mike Marshall twice on his way to a third-round TKO victory.

“I’m really excited to be back fighting in the U.S. again on January 1,” said Faust. “I’ve been welcomed warmly and fighting stateside already feels like my living room. I love the atmosphere. This is a great chance to show myself on this pay-per-view show against a very high-quality opponent. I won’t disappoint fans when I step into the ring.”

Kiladze (27-5-1, 19 KOs) returned to the win column in September, with a knockout victory over Mathew McKinney. Since he began fighting stateside full time in 2017, Kiladze’s losses have come against top heavyweights Adam Kownacki, Michael Hunter, Efe Ajagba and Joe Joyce, who sported a combined 45-1 record heading into their matchups against Kiladze. Originally from Georgia and now fighting out of Los Angeles, Kiladze owns a 2019 draw against then unbeaten Robert Alfonso and won six straight fights between 2014 and 2018.

Martin-Washington headline Wilder-Fury undercard

Three showdowns have been added to the PPV undercard for the historic, mega PPV event headlined by the highly anticipated rematch between unbeaten WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder and undefeated lineal champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury taking place Saturday, February 22 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

In the co-main event, former heavyweight world champion Charles Martin will square off against former title challenger Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington in a 12-round IBF Heavyweight Title eliminator. The PPV begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and includes the PPV featured bout as WBO Junior Featherweight World Champion Emanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete, a.k.a “The Mexican Iron Man” defends his title against Filipino contender Jeo Santisima. In the PPV opener, super welterweight sensation Sebastian “The Towering Inferno” Fundora will face 2016 Australian Olympian Daniel Lewis in a 10-round battle of unbeatens.

The 33-year-old Martin (27-2-1, 24 KOs) became heavyweight champion in January 2016 when he won by TKO against then unbeaten Vyacheslav Glazkov. After losing his title to Anthony Joshua, Martin has won four of his last five fights, with all of his wins coming inside the distance. Originally from St. Louis, now living in Las Vegas and currently training in Southern California with Manny Robles, Martin bounced back from a narrow decision defeat to Adam Kownacki in 2018 to earn victories in 2019 against Gregory Corbin in March and Daniel Martz in July.

“It is great to be back on the big stage,” said Martin. “Wilder vs. Fury II is the biggest heavyweight fight in a long time and it’s great to be on the PPV.  February 22 will get me one step closer to my goal of becoming two-time heavyweight champion. Gerald Washington is standing in my way, so it’s my job to go right through him toward my ultimate goal.”

Washington (20-3-1, 13 KOs) is a six-foot-six heavyweight contender who was a former college football standout at the University of Southern California and a U.S. Navy veteran. Born in San Jose, California, Washington scored an impressive victory in his last outing, knocking out veteran contender Robert Helenius in July. Washington was unbeaten in his first 19 pro fights, before dropping his world titlechallenge against Deontay Wilder in February 2017.

“This title eliminator is a very big opportunity for me and I’m going to do everything in my power to win on February 22,” said Washington. “I have the right team behind me and the right mindset. I’ve known Martin my whole career and we even spent some time working together in the ring. I’m going to be at my best and I expect the same from him. It’s an honor to be a part of an event like this. Deontay and Tyson are both characters and I’m glad I can be a part of what’s going to be a great night of boxing on February 22.”

Representing San Juan ZitlaltepecDistrito FederalMéxico, Navarrete (30-1, 26 KOs) captured his 122-pound title by defeating Isaac Dogboe in December 2018, and emphatically retained the title by stopping Dogboe in the final round of their rematch in May 2019. The 25-year-old stayed busy after securing the title, scoring stoppage victories in successful title defenses in August, September and most recently in December, when he knocked out Francisco Horta in Mexico. He is boxing’s most active world champion, as the Santisima bout will be his fifth title defense in nine months.

“I am motivated to make my fifth defense in less than a year and especially because I’m proud to be part of a historic card headlined by Wilder vs. Fury II,” said Navarrete. “This is a great opportunity to put on an exhibition for the fans and showcase my talent once again. I’m very grateful to my promoters, Bob Arum and Fernando Beltran, for giving me these opportunities.”

The 23-year-old Santisima (19-2, 16 KOs) turned pro in 2013 as a 16-year-old and has not lost a fight since his fourth career contest in 2014. A native of Masbate City, Philippines, Santisima will ride a 17-fight winning streak into his U.S. debut and his first world title opportunity on February 22. His 2019 campaign saw him deliver victories over Alvius Maufani in August and Rene Dacquel in December.

“I really appreciate this opportunity, as this has been my dream since I was a kid,” said Santisima. “For this fight, I will train and prepare to become the new champion. I don’t feel any pressure. I will just do my best on fight night to show the world who I am. I heard and read the news that this fight is a mismatch, but I will do my best to give a great fight.”

Towering at nearly six-feet six-inches, Fundora (13-0-1, 9 KOs) has used his height and length, combined with power and aggressiveness, to rack up an unbeaten record since turning pro in 2016. Fighting out of Coachella, California, Fundora fought three times in 2019, including TKO victories over then unbeaten fighters Donnie Marshall and Hector Manuel Zepeda. The 22-year-old most recently fought to an exciting split-draw against fellow contender Jamontay Clark in August.

A 2016 Olympian representing his native Sydney, Australia, Lewis (6-0, 4 KOs) was unbeaten in 2019, his first year as a professional. The 26-year-old picked up his first five wins between his debut in March and his U.S. debut in November where he defeated Alexis Gaytan. Most recently, Lewis knocked out then unbeaten Rivo Kundimang in December.

Ex-champ Charles Martin: ‘I want to be like the LeBron James of boxing’

Former heavyweight world champion Charles Martin (27-2-1, 23 KOs) delivered a TKO victory over Daniel Martz (18-7-1, 15 KOs) in the fourth-round of their heavyweight attraction.

Martin used his southpaw stance to land strong left hands early on Martz and causing his right eye to swell in round two. Martz tried to tie up Martin, and eventually had some success on offense landing several clean shots that got Martin’s attention, even if they didn’t hurt him. 

“At one point I wasn’t relaxed like I should have been,” said Martin. “He threw a good flurry on me in the second round and that woke me up. I was a little stiff, but as we got going I knew I could go through him.” 

“I definitely came to fight and I was trying to win,” said Martz. “I started to take some hard shots and they added up. He definitely hits hard.”

In round four Martin clipped Martz in the opening moments, forcing him to retreat before Martin followed up with a body shot that put his opponent on the canvas. Martz got up and continued to try to survive and hold, but a strong combination punctuated by another punishing shot put Martz on the mat again and forced referee Celestino Ruiz to halt the bout 2:03 into the round.

 “I told my team that I wanted to stop him with a body shot, so I was focused on that and happy to get it done,” said Martin. “I just want to keep learning and become a complete fighter. I want to be able to dig to the body and fight on the inside and learn everything technical that I can. I want to be like the LeBron James of boxing, in that I’m a total student of the sport.”

“He threw some good shots to the body and that’s kind of what wore me out,” said Martz. “I’ll get in the gym and get better and be back soon”

Charles Martin-Gregory Corbin added to Spence-Garcia undercard

Former heavyweight world champion Charles Martin will square off against unbeaten Dallas-native Gregory Corbin in a 10-round bout on Premier Boxing Champions Prelims on FS1 leading up to the Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia PBC on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event Saturday, March 16 from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Prelims begin at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and will lead up to the pay-per-view event at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT that is headlined by unbeaten IBF Welterweight World Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. defending his title against undefeated four-division champion Mikey Garcia in a highly anticipated and historic showdown.

Tickets for this showdown, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and Ringstar Sports, are on sale now, and can be purchased at SeatGeek.com, the Official Ticketing Provider of AT&T Stadium.

Born in St. Louis but now fighting and training out of Southern California, Martin (25-2-1, 23 KOs) showed heavy hands in racking up 20 knockouts in 23 fights before he captured a heavyweight world title with a victory over Vyacheslav Glazkov in January 2016. The 32-year-old bounced back from a defeat against Anthony Joshua to score two stoppage victories before losing a close decision to unbeaten Adam Kownacki in September.

Fighting out of his hometown of Dallas, Corbin (15-0, 9 KOs) will look to remain unbeaten in front of a friendly crowd. The 38-year-old has stopped five of his last six opponents, including his most recent victory over Homero Fonseca in August. He will fight in his home state for the ninth time as a pro on March 16.

Former champion Charles Martin to fight on Wilder-Ortiz undercard

.BROOKLYN (February 14, 2018) – The heavyweight world title showdown between Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz will feature a stacked undercard of exciting attractions that includes top contenders, a former heavyweight champion, exciting prospects and more all entering the ring on Saturday, March 3 from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.

Action inside the arena includes top middleweight contender Sergey Derevyanchenko facing Dashon Johnson in an eight-round fight, 2016 U.S. Olympian Gary Antuanne Russell in a six-round super lightweight showdown, and a 10-round matchup between super welterweight prospects Patrick Day and Kyrone Davis.

A 2008 Ukrainian Olympian now fighting out of Brooklyn, Derevyanchenko (11-0, 9 KOs) earned his top contender status in the IBF by stopping Tureano Johnson in the 12th round of their August 2017 showdown and will face California’s Johnson (22-22-3, 7 KOs) as he awaits his title shot.

One of featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr.’s younger brothers, the 21-year-old Russell (3-0, 3 KOs) represented the U.S. at the 2016 Olympic games in Rio and made it to the quarterfinal round. He turned pro in May of last year and has scored three first round stoppages as a pro.

The 25-year-old Day (14-2-1, 6 KOs) fights out of Freeport, New York and most recently won an exciting contest over then unbeaten Eric Walker last July to seize the WBC Continental Americas Super Welterweight Title. He takes on another prospect looking to leap to contender status in the 23-year-old Davis (13-1, 5 KOs) from Delaware who enters this bout on a three-fight winning streak.

The card continues with former heavyweight world champion Charles Martin (25-1-1, 23 KOs) in an eight-round fight, former world title challenger Willie Monroe Jr. (21-3, 6 KOs) in an eight-round middleweight affair and a pair of local welterweight prospects fighting at Barclays Center for the fourth time as Richardson Hitchins (3-0, 1 KO) and Kenny Robles (2-1, 1 KO) compete in separate six-round attractions. Rounding out the action is unbeaten prospect Shynggyskhan Tazhibay (5-0, 2 KOs) in a six-round welterweight bout.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment and TGB Promotions, start at $50 and are on sale now. To purchase tickets, visit Ticketmaster.com, BarclaysCenter.com, or call 800-745-3000. Tickets for the event can also be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center.

The Premier Boxing Champions event is headlined by the highly anticipated Wilder vs. Ortiz matchup and will see undefeated former 154-pound champion Jermall Charlo take on Hugo Centeno, Jr. for the interim WBC middleweight title in the co-feature. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins live on SHOWTIME at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT with top super middleweight contender Andre Dirrell battling hard-hitting Jose Uzcategui in a rematch for the IBF Interim 168-pound world title.