As has been reported by Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, there is the possibility we could see a fight between former heavyweight champs Deontay Wilder and Charles Martin some time in the first quarter of the year. As per Mannix’ piece, a member of Wilder’s team has spoken to Martin’s people, the prospective fight not having got any further than that at time of writing. But as Shelly Finkle said, “If we can’t get the Fury fight, Deontay needs to be active.”
Well, Fury has stated in no uncertain terms he will NEVER fight Wilder again, this due to the accusations Wilder made about him – an “egg weight” in his gloves, and so on. So it looks as though Wilder will be moving on, watching like the rest of us the massive (reportedly close to a done deal) Fury Vs. Anthony Joshua fight. In this regard, a Martin fight makes pretty good sense. Wilder has been out of action for almost a full year, as has Martin; who last boxed on the Fury-Wilder II card when he took out Gerald Washington.
So who wins if Wilder, 42-1-1(41) and Martin, 28-2-1(25) do go at it? Martin, a tall and (when he’s in shape) athletic southpaw, was, of course, IBF heavyweight champ for a few months back in 2016. Since that terrible non-effort against Joshua in his first defence, 34-year-old Martin has boxed just six times, winning five and dropping a decision to Adam Kownacki in a good action fight. Wilder, meanwhile, took a real shellacking from Fury in their sequel, and we have no idea how badly that has affected him.
With all due respect, the old Wilder, the man who was blitzing guys like Dominic Breazeale and Luis Ortiz in impressive fashion, would likely have gone through Martin in pretty short order. But now, his confidence perhaps shattered for good due to what Fury laid on him in Las Vegas, who knows?
Martin can look good at times, when he’s in shape, and for a Wilder fight he would surely whip himself into good shape. Wilder will always have that destructive punching power, but what inner demons will he also have from here on in? Again, an interesting and intriguing fight. Wilder has to be the pick to win assuming the fight does happen, but as we all know, anything can happen when two big guys share a ring.