Lou DiBella – Welcome to the final conference call for the SHOWTIME Championship Boxing show, January 16 of this new year at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The show will begin at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on SHOWTIME. It’s a world championship, heavyweight championship doubleheader. These are the first two heavyweight title fights in over 100 years in Brooklyn on the same night, 115 years since the last heavyweight title fight in Brooklyn. And there’ll be two on the same night on January 16 on SHOWTIME.
The first bout will be for the vacant IBF Heavyweight World Championship between Charles Martin and the highest ranked contender in the IBF, former Olympic Bronze Medalist, Vyacheslav “Czar” Glazkov. The main event will be Deontay Wilder, the Heavyweight Champion of the World of the WBC who is defending his title against the very colorful and exciting Artur Szpilka.
We’re going to start with Stephen Espinoza, the man who runs SHOWTIME Boxing and who has put together this great card for us.
Thank you, Lou. As some of you know, 2016 represents the 30th anniversary of SHOWTIME Championship Boxing. The very first fight at SHOWTIME was telecast on March 10, 1986 and featured Marvelous Marvin Hagler versus John Mugabi. We’ve had a variety of high-profile fighters and fights since.
To kick off our 30th anniversary year, I can’t think of a better way to do it than at Barclays Center in Brooklyn with a doubleheader of heavyweight title fights. There is going to be some explosive action. We have some really entertaining, interesting personalities. In fact, I can’t wait to see what the rest of this all holds.
I’m going to start with the man who is the leading available contender in the IBF, and he is going to fighting Charles Martin for the IBF Heavyweight Championship. Czar Glazkov, 21-0-1, 13 KOs from the Ukraine originally, now fighting out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He’s a 2007 Silver Medalist at the World Amateur Boxing Championship and a 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist at Super Heavyweight.
Manager extraordinaire, Egis Klimas is on the call, and he will do the translating for Czar Glazkov. Czar is promoted by Main Events and Kathy Duva of Main Events will be co-promoting this fight with us.
Hello, everybody. This is Egis, manager of Vyacheslav Glazkov. We’re very happy to have a title shot, the world title of the IBF. We wanted to thank our promoter Main Events for doing such a good job for bringing Glazkov to this opportunity. I am very fortunate to represent Mr. Glazkov. I’ve been doing it for four years, and this is a big shot for him to become the world champion.
I would like to introduce to you, Vyascheslav Glazkov, the contender for the IBF Title.
Yes. Hello, everybody. This is Vyacheslav Glazkov. This is a great opportunity for me and a really good chance for me to win the World Championship.
Charles Martin, 22-0-1 with 20 KOs, born in St. Louis, Missouri, now from Carson, California. Charles is a huge physical specimen at 6’5″. The 29-year-old knockout artist was an accomplished amateur. He won the 2012 National PAL Championship. Charles is something of an unknown commodity to a lot of people. He is the number three-ranked IBF contender and is looking forward to his opportunity and what he thinks is going to be a knockout win against Vyacheslav Glazkov.
Charles, would you like to say a few words, please?
Yes. I’m so thankful to be in this position and blessed to get a world title shot, and that’s what all boxers dream of. It’s finally becoming a reality to me. I’m not going to let anything stand in front of me of receiving this IBF title. So I will be prepared on January 16th.
I’m up in high altitude right now. I’m in the snow. I’m running in the snow. I’m getting it, grinding with it, and it’s going to all show in the rings.
Thank you, Charles. Charles is promoted by Warriors Boxing in Florida, so they will also be a co-promoter of this title fight.
I would open it up now to questions for Vyacheslav Glazkov and Charles Martin.
Can you take me through the decision-making process of dropping out of your fight with Dominic Breazeale in December?
I’m glad you asked that because I wanted to do both of the fights. My team is the one that talked me out of it. I was up here making plans to do both. They’re like, yes, yes, you know, that’s right, that’s right. With the conversation with my coaches, I’m like, I can do this fight. I can get this another way. Then I’m lined up right here.
My manager and everybody else, they’re like, “Hey, this is a world title opportunity. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime. You fight for a world title. So we’re pulling out. You’re going to back to camp and get this belt.” I guess after a while it sunk in and it started to make sense. And I said, “Hey, you know, whatever. Let’s just do it.” Because anything could happen.
You could get cut or something, any kind of crazy stuff that could have pulled me out of this fight. But I guarantee I was going to knock Dominic out. That’s automatic, you know what I mean? We know each other. I would have knocked him out, for sure.
You’re talking about Breazeale, who you know?
Yes, Dominic Breazeale. I would have knocked him out.
When you did make that decision to withdraw from the fight, did you stay straight through in camp. Did you at least take a couple of days off? Did you do anything over the holidays? Or did you just basically stay in camp and just work all the way through it?
Yes, I took a week off. I took that week off and then we got back to camp. I started back training when I was in L.A.. I live in North Hollywood, so we have a gym right there. These guys they sponsor me and I got a gym right there. Me and my coaches got in there and we were hitting pads and we’re doing workouts, doing pushups and callisthenic-type of movements.
Then we got right back up here into the high altitude, man. We are in Big Bear right now. We’ve been here for a few weeks now. We’ve been up here grinding, man. We’re getting it in. I’m in perfect shape. I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in my life. I’m ready to fight.
When you look at the record of Glazkov, does it make you think to yourself, I better really get rid of this guy because I cannot leave it in the hands of the judges?
I don’t even take the time to think about those kind of things because he’s never been in the ring with a fighter like me. I’m no Cunningham. I’m no Tor Hamer. I’m none of these guys that he fought.
I’m totally a different fighter than he’s ever seen. So come fight night, I’m ready to prove it to the whole wide world. I’m ready to be that superstar. We train like superstars. If you’re going to train mediocre, you’ll be mediocre, and that’s what I see out of a lot of fighters, heavyweights, especially. But we train to be a superstar and that’s what you guys are going to see.
Has everything changed in the mindsets for a fighter like yourself after Klitschko’s loss?
It was going to open up eventually. Klitschko had a very good run. His whole career was outstanding. He’s an awesome fighter. But it’s our time now. There are new fighters on the map. We had big plans to knock him out as well. We wanted to knock him out and become superstars overnight. Everybody got the dream.
It’s here now, man. I get to fight for the IBF World Title. I can’t believe it. Every day I wake up. I think I’m freaking blessed. I’m fighting for a world title. This is crazy. Sometimes it doesn’t even sound right, but it’s real. So I’m going to seize the moment, definitely.
Well, I think right now the heavyweights are going to be very interesting because of all the titles getting a split around. There is going to be more champions, and that’s what the fan always like because for many years it was all one person. I’m looking forward to see what is going to be happening in the heavyweight division.
This is for both fighters. I just want to know if one of you, unless there is a draw, wins this title next weekend, are you anxious to unify with either the WBC champion or with Tyson Fury?
Yes, of course. This is the dream of every fighter to get all the titles because I truly believe the real champion is whoever is holding all four titles.
Yes, I want it all. As soon as I get this belt, I want to unify. I want everything. I want all the hardware. Look out for “Prince” Charles Martin. I’m here to make a statement and you guys are going to see, finally. I’ve been under wraps a long time but now the world can see me display my skill. Yes, I can’t wait to unify. I want everything.
Charles, do you think that Glazkov is a pretty decent step up in competition on paper from who else you fought? I’d like your assessment of him as a boxer and what you think he brings to the table.
Yes. He’s definitely a step up on paper. His resume reads well. He’s a good fighter. He’s technical, keeping his hands up and stuff like that, has a pretty nice hook. But I got to give you the ups and the downs. He’s a little guy. I’m massive, strong, powerful, elusive. He’s definitely going to be in there for the hardest fight of his life that he’ll ever have.
Czar, you heard what Charles said. He called you a little guy. I’d like your reaction to and what you think of Martin technically. Have you seen tape on him? What do you think of him as a fighter?
I respect all of my opponents. Anybody who steps into the ring is doing a very good job. As far as him as a boxer, what can I say? He’s a big dude. He’s a southpaw. I soak up all of his videos. He’s not the standard guy. He’s not a normal guy, but that’s why I’m picking up my sparring partners. That’s why I’m working and preparing for the fighting.
Czar, What’s your prediction for this fight?
I’m not going to be saying that I’m going to knock him out. I’m not going to be aiming to knock him out. I’m just going to be fighting and showing everybody my good skills with boxing. If it’s a knockout coming, it’s going to come.
This is a significant fight. There is a belt at stake. There is an Olympic Medalist fighting a massive American heavyweight, as Charles accurately described himself, and also extremely charismatic and English-speaking American heavyweight that this fight can bring in major new player to the forefront in the heavyweight division. So it’s a very significant fight.
I thank you guys for joining us, and we’ll see you next week.