It is just over a year ago that “Prince” Charles Martin, looking anything but regal, capitulated in quite disappointing fashion against Anthony Joshua. Martin was attempting to make the first retention of the IBF heavyweight belt he had won in fluke-like fashion – Vyacheslav Glazkov’s knee blowing during their January 2016 fight that contested the belt that had just been stripped from new world ruler Tyson Fury – and he failed miserably.
Losing inside just two rounds and smiling as he was put down by challenger, soon to be champion, Joshua’s fists, Martin fell to 23-1-1(21) and he didn’t appear to care one bit. Many people felt they had most probably seen the last of the tall southpaw, and for a full year the 30 year old did indeed disappear from the ring.
The comeback, though, is now on; set for this coming April 25, a Tuesday, in Mississippi. Martin will face, according to BoxRec, Byron Polley, aged 37 and currently sporting a 30-20-1(13) pro record. Tough and game Polley might be, but he has been KO’d or stopped some 17 times and, unless Martin is even worse than he was that flop night in London a year ago, “The Bear” should not give the former IBF champ too many problems.
But can Martin ever get back to the top, or anywhere close? What will it take for Martin to get back the belief and trust of the paying fans? How hungry is Martin? Is he himself confident he can get in there with the top names once again? Is Martin merely chasing another payday? We simply don’t know and it could take some time before we ever do find out.
It promises to be a long and hard road back for Martin, that’s for sure. It begins with the Polley fight, and if he’s in shape at all, Martin should get himself a pretty quick stoppage win next week. How many fans actually take notice of the fight though, is another question entirely.