Jared Anderson kept his undefeated record intact, but did get a stiffer test than ever before from veteran Charles Martin this evening in Toledo.
Anderson (15-0, 14 KO) had go to the distance for the first time as a professional, and did feel some heat from the former brief titlist, taking scores of 98-91, 99-90, and 99-90 from the judges. Bad Left Hook also had it 99-90 for Anderson on our unofficial score cards.
For the 23-year-old Anderson, this was a fight that can wind up being a very valuable learning experience. He was never in real danger of losing — even when he did get rocked in a really big fifth round for Martin (29-4-1, 26 KO), he showed a good chin and stayed pretty composed. He also came out for the rest of the fight showing some adjustments, and also a healthy respect for the fact that this was:
- An opponent that was not simply going to be rolled over.
- An opponent who could actually do damage in return.
But Anderson showed that he doesn’t have to have it all his way, and that he won’t shrink when flustered a bit, that he’s got a little something in there when the going gets a little tougher than we’d seen in the past.
There are, though, real concerns, and Anderson will know that there are things to address. He didn’t cut the ring off terribly well, allowing Martin to circle pretty much all night, other than that fifth round where Martin got more aggressive and sat down on shots. And he also has some bad habits — he squares up, his footwork could still use some improvement, and he relies a lot on his upper body movement to slip punches. He also pulls straight back, which got him laced with some good lefts from the vet.
All in all, I do think Anderson did well here, while acknowledging that yes, we saw the flaws finally, and how real they can be. Against steps up — Martin is tough and clever, but a fringe guy as far as contenders go — he will need to be better, or he’s going to find himself in more trouble, especially now that everyone has this 10 rounds of footage.
What did you think of “Big Baby” tonight?
Anderson vs Martin highlights
Undercard highlights and results
- Abdullah Mason TKO-2 Alex de Oliveira (2:18): Mason, a 19-year-old lightweight, is now 9-0 (8 KO).
- Arslanbek Makhmudov TKO-2 Raphael Akpejiori (1:43): Not as exciting as the result looks at a glance. The 34-year-old Makhmudov (17-0, 16 KO) has a leaky defense and this wasn’t really pretty to look at and he probably did some damage on a rabbit punch on a knockdown on round one, but the gulf in boxing experience here was obvious and huge. Akpejiori (15-1, 14 KO) is a college sports (football/basketball) transfer, one of those Athlete Boxing Projects that were all the rage for a few years in the late 2000s and early 2010s, and, well, this was about the end result for most of them. They fought a guy who didn’t start learning the sport somewhere between ages 22 and 27 and got trucked out. I’m not trying to be a jerk here, the guy came and tried, but his record was really empty. You just don’t go from a fight at Calta’s Fitness & Boxing in Tampa to a win on ESPN.