If there’s been any question about Charles Martin’s heart, that has been answered tonight. Adam Kownacki and Charles Martin battled tooth-and-nail over 10 tough rounds tonight in the Showtime opener.
Kownacki started fast, pressing Martin and throwing a ton of shots as Martin tried to box on the outside — albeit with some leaky defense. That leaky defense allowed Kownacki to land hard shots to the head and body over and over, and even when it looked like Martin was getting ready to go he just never did. And not only did Martin not give in, he battled back as best he could, getting into some terrific exchanges with Kownacki.
The crowd loved the fight, and as it wore on it got even better, with both heavyweights exchanging shots in exciting fashion until the very final bell, with Martin even leading a late charge in the fight. But in the end Kownacki’s forward momentum, leading the action for most the way through was too much to overcome on the scorecards. In the end all three judges turned in scores of 96-94 in favor of Kownacki, who took a unanimous decision win. I scored the fight a little wider, 98-92 in favor of Kownacki, as I thought his effective aggression was telling, though it was a better fight than that score would indicate.
At the end of the fight Kownacki (18-0, 14 KOs) said he thinks he needs maybe one or two more fights before he’s ready to contend for a world title. Martin (25-2-1) says he’ll go back to the drawing board and try to find his way back to this position.