On the big Wilder-Fury II card in Las Vegas tonight, former IBF heavyweight champ “Prince” Charles Martin scored a sixth round KO over Gerald Washington to win an IBF eliminator. The end came suddenly (and thankfully as the fight was a real snoozer in large part) when southpaw Martin landed a hard left hand to the head of Washington and sent him crashing.
Washington got back up but referee Tony Weeks didn’t hesitate, stopping the fight instantly. Time was 1.57 of the 6th. Martin is now 28-2-1(25). Washington falls to 20-4-1(13).
Martin, who tipped-in at a pretty hefty 254 pounds, had the better of things early on, stunning the 236 pound Washington towards the end of the opening session. From then on, in a battle of jabs and not too much more, the fight lumbered on. Fans who had taken their seats ahead of the big fight were growing concerned this bout would drag on for all 12 rounds. At times, 37 year old Washington got home with a decent shot, but Martin, 33, was doing the better work – just about.
The pace was a slow one and fans were getting restless. Then, pretty much out of nowhere, Martin closed the show in dramatic style with his big left hand. Martin, who briefly reigned as IBF champ before “giving his belt away” to Anthony Joshua, is now a step closer to challenging for his former strap. But this is the big problem – who on earth wants to see a Joshua-Martin II!? Nobody.
Martin, though when he’s turned on, can feature in good fights (see his losing but exciting rumble with Adam Kownacki). It doesn’t seem likely Martin will make good of his goal of becoming a two-time heavyweight champ, but this does not mean he won’t get the opportunity. Maybe. Martin has now won three in a row since coming up short against Kownacki in September of 2018.
As for Washington, it’s tough to see where he goes from here. Stopped in each of his defeats, Washington has lost four of his last six.