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Wilder vs Fury 2 undercard: Martin vs Washington is like a NFL Wild Card game

Lee Cleveland Updated
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Many are complaining about the undercard for the rematch between WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and lineal king Tyson Fury.

And yes, the undercard could be better. However, if you're a hardcore fan of the heavyweight division or want to be immersed in heavyweight boxing, you'll find Prince Charles Martin (27-2-1, 24 KO) vs Gerald Washington (20-3-1, 13 KO) intriguing.

Think of it as a NFL Wild Card game between teams that are 8-8 and 9-7. They're in the "playoffs" and the outcome still influences the overall landscape.

Martin, a former belt holder, and Washington are top 20 heavyweights and the winner of that bout will be the IBF's mandatory opponent for the winner of the WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight title match between reigning champion Anthony Joshua and challenger Kubrat Pulev.

... Shockingly, either Martin or Washington will be fighting for at least one of the 'big cookies' very soon so Martin vs Washington will have an impact on heavyweight boxing. And a stoppage win, regardless of who gets it, would be real statement maker.

When the odds are announced, look for the 6'5," 33 year old Martin to be a healthy favorite over the 36 year old, 6'6" Washington. Simply put, Prince Charles is more polished, has looked more impressive and has faced - and beaten - better opposition.

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Wilder vs Fury 2 Undercard (Televised)

February 22, 2020
MGM Grand Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV, USA
ESPN PPV / FOX PPV / BT Sport PPV

Charles Martin v. Gerald Washington, 12
IBF heavyweight eliminator

Emanuel Navarrete (C) v Jeo Tupas Santisima, 12
WBO junior featherweight title

Sebastian Fundora v Daniel Lewis, 10
junior middleweights

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In January 2016, Martin upended rising heavyweight Vyacheslav Glazkov (then 21-0-1, 13 KO) to claim the vacant IBF heavyweight title. Of course, Prince Charles's reign was short-lived as he'd be KO'd by Anthony Joshua just 3 months later. Since then, he's 4-1 with four stoppages with his sole loss coming via a unanimous decision to red hot contender Adam Kownacki.

The expected underdog, Gerald Washington, despite coming off an impressive stoppage over former top 10 heavyweight Robert Helenius, is only 3-3 in his last 6 fights. However, all three of his defeats have come against big guns Deontay Wilder, Jarrell Miller and Adam Kownacki.

A former University of Southern California football player, Washington didn't make his pro debut until 2012 at the advanced age of 30. And yes, he has some wins against a few familiar names including Sherman Williams (UD 8), Ray Austin (KO), Eddie Chambers (UD 8), Jason Gavern (UD) Nagy Aguilera (UD) and Travis Walker (TKO).

But most, if not all, of those former foes were a bit past their prime when they faced Gerald.

Fact: Both Martin and Washington are southpaws. It's a rarity for two southpaws, especially heavyweights, to fight each other.

“I’ve definitely learned on the job,” Washington told Premier Boxing Champions a few years ago. “Every time I go into the ring it’s a new experience for me. Everyone has a different style, a different way of fighting. I’ve tried to prepare for everything."

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Fury vs Wilder 2 (Fight Page)
WBC/RING Magazine Heavyweight Titles
February 22, 2020
MGM Grand Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV, USA
ESPN PPV / FOX PPV / BT Sport PPV
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“Yes, I feel I’ve had to play catch up to some extent but now I feel very confident in my abilities.”

“I come from a different school,” he said. “A lot of times late is good. You have no wear and tear on the individual. Fighters who have a lot of amateur and pro fights have a lot of wear and tear on their bodies. Those who start late don’t."

Fact: The fighters have back-to-back birthdays. Washington and Martin's birthdays are April 23 and 24, respectively.

To Washington's credit, he's very athletic and arguably won the first four rounds in his 2017 fight with Wilder before succumbing to Deontay's powerful right hand.

Thus far, Charles and Gerald have only lost to top guys (Wilder, Kownacki and Joshua) so the winner will undoubtedly use that stat to justify his claim as an elite level heavyweight.

How good is Prince Charles Martin? How good is Gerald Washington?

Both are viewed as second tier heavyweights right now, but the winner will likely thrust himself into a purgatory of sorts in between first and second tier.

And more importantly, he'll become the IBF's mandatory heavyweight challenger.

Martin vs Washington.... Think of it as a NFL Wild Card game between teams that are 8-8 and 9-7.

... It's still the playoffs and the winner advances big time.

 
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