Heavyweight Jared Anderson (15-0, 14 KOs) was made to look less than invincible on Saturday night by his replacement opponent Charles Martin (29-4-1, 26 KOs), who shook him up many times despite losing a 10 round unanimous decision in front of a large pro-Anderson crowd at the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio.
In the end, the judges scored it wide for Anderson 98-91, 99-90, and 99-90. Those scores were a bit wide, given that Anderson was staggered several times by Martin and in serious trouble in the tenth.
But considering this was Anderson’s hometown and he was the A-side, the wide scores made sense. He wasn’t the best heavyweight on the card.
The guy that really shined tonight and stole the show from Anderson was Arslanbek Makhmudov (17-0, 16 KOs), who blew out his opponent Raphael Akpejiori (15-1, 14 KOs) by a second round knockout.
There were good and bad from Anderson’s performance tonight. He dropped Martin in round three with a nice right hand and was in control the entire fight, using a stabbing jab and a highly accurate right hand.
Martin circled the constantly, showing little interest in standing his ground against the 23-year-old Anderson. Interestingly, when Martin did go on the attack, he found success, landing a lot of lead lefts to the head of Anderson while he was pulling back.
What we learned tonight in watching Anderson getting staggered repeatedly by the 37-year-old former IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin is that he’s NOT ready to progress to the next level against any of the killers in the division.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum wants the 23-year-old Anderson to return in September against his originally scheduled opponent Zhan Kossobutskiy, who was scratched from the card tonight due to visa problems.
If Arum wanted to test whether Jared Anderson is cut out for the upper tier of the division, he’d match him up against Arslanbek Makhmudov next in a sink-or-swim fashion. Obviously, Arum isn’t going to do that because, after tonight, he’s got to have serious reservations about his future.
Anderson was crying after the fight, and while you’d like to think that was out of happiness, it’s more likely he realizes he was exposed by Charles Martin and isn’t good enough to cut it against the better guys in the division without losing.
Arslanbek Makhmudov destroys
The unbeaten heavyweight contender Arslanbek Makhmudov (17-0, 16 KOs) looked like pure 24K gold tonight, crushing Raphael Akpejiori (15-1, 14 KOs) by a second round knockout.
Makhmudov knocked Akpejiori down two times in round one, and a final time in round two before the referee pulled the plug on the fight. The knockdown in the second was from a left hook from Makhmudov that flattened Akpejiori like a bowling pin. The fight was stopped at 1:43 of round two.
Although Akpejiori looked like he could have continued, the referee seemed to realize that he was going to end up getting folded if he’d left the fight to continue.
Makhmudov was like an unstoppable train, and there was nothing that Akpejiori could do to keep him off.