Convicted Artist Magazine

Jan 22nd
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american-heavyweight-boxing-hopefulsGerald Washington's win over Eddie Chambers would have been more impressive, had it not been a boring fight following four televised highlight reel knockouts.  Yes, the big ponderous "Gallo Negro" did nothing to scare the heavyweight belt-holders, but following up a lucky draw against Amir Mansour with an even more skilled Philly fighter was a bold move.  Chambers has been in soft lately, but the only times in his career he has ever been dominated was when drained at Cruiserweight, and against Klitschko.  He didn't do enough to win any rounds against Washington.  However, maybe under the radar is just where they want him.  It certainly worked for Charles Martin.

Speaking of Martin, what a 2016 he has already had.  Only 6 months ago, he was preparing to face Dominic Breazale just to make the boxing world take any notice of him.  Then a series of events left him a former world champion and multi-millionaire.  First, Fury upset Klitschko, and the IBF (always the least favorable organization to being unified) found a reason to strip him.  Martin promptly cancelled the Breazeale fight, to fight for a vacant belt that he had not really done much to earn his way towards.  Then Glazkov suffered a disclocated knee in their matchup, handing Martin the title.  This alone made Martin the luckiest man in the Heavyweight division, but it wes about to get even better for him.

Instead of opting for an easy hometown defense (a la Wilder), Martin signed to face big Brit Anthony Joshua... seeing a chance to make for one night in the UK what could have taken him years to earn in the USA.  Martin was in a no-lose situation.  If he pulled off the big upset, he was king of the division, besides Fury... jumping ahead of Wilder in one move.  If he lost, which he did, he was losing to an unbeaten gold medalist, in that man's backyard.  Highly forgivable.  I think it would be marvelous if Martin set a unique example and retired with his millions, but more likely is we will see him go the way of this generation's Michael Grant.

Speaking of Joshua, he earns even more points by choosing to face another unbeaten Olympian with a high KO percentage in Dominic Breazeale.  Breazeale is rated as low as number 13 by the IBF, well below more easy pickens like Carlos Takam, Eric Molina, Johann Duhaupas, and fellow Brit Dereck Chisora.  However, Joshua's brand very much believes in him, and UK fans tend to forgive losses more readily than we do, so they almost have a responsibility to take risks.  This fight will most certainly be picked up by US-tv, as well, making sure the winners of Povetkin-Wilder and Fury-Klitschko will have to face him (or each other) by early next year.

Chris Strait

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