TOLEDO, Ohio (July 1, 2023) — Toledo’s fighting pride returned home for his first headlining attraction in a fight that ended up being his toughest one to date.
Jared “The Real Big Baby” Anderson (15-0, 14 KOs) went the distance for the first time, as he defeated former world champion “Prince” Charles Martin (29-4-1, 26 KOs) via 10-round unanimous decision Saturday evening in front of 7,234 hometown fans at Toledo’s Huntington Center.
Anderson’s athleticism helped him win many early rounds as he constantly pressured Martin while pulling away to avoid any return fire. In the third round, he switched to southpaw and dropped Martin with a counter right hook.
The 23-year-old knockout artist looked to finish, but the experienced Martin survived. By the fifth, Anderson slowed a bit, which allowed Martin to hurt him with several left hands.
Anderson adjusted by returning to his jab and increasing his output to the body, outlanding Martin in the later rounds. Anderson retained his WBO International and WBC USA titles with scores of 98-91 and 99-90 2x.
Anderson said, “It felt great. I had my team with me. I got my family with me. I got Toledo with me. They showed up and they’re in the building. They were with me the entire 10 rounds. I heard them all the way through. I’m grateful for my opponent. He took the fight on short notice. He came and performed really good. I think we put on a hell of a show for Toledo.
“I wanted to go the distance. It was my first time. I just wanted to make sure that I could go the distance and especially be able to withstand power the whole 10 rounds. He had power until the last round, and I was happy to get the rounds in.
“I think I took his best shots very well. I don’t think there was a time in the fight where I looked unsteady or where I couldn’t hold my own. Did feel like he got me with a good shot and stunned me? No. But do I feel like he got me with a good shot and made me aware? Yes, so I had to readjust and get back to the game plan.”
Martin said, “I took the fight on 11 days’ notice. I did the best I could. He’s a real champion. He’ll be making his way to the top soon. I’m proud of him.
“He’s really good. He’s a crafty boxer. Usually, when I catch somebody and hurt them, I can finish them. If they don’t fall, usually I can follow up and put them away. But he is like a little middleweight. He is crafty. He was able to get out even when he was rocked. He was able to maneuver and get out the way. He’s going to be a champion.”
Arslanbek Makhmudov Makes U.S. Debut with TKO Win
In his stateside debut, Montreal-based wrecking ball Arslanbek Makhmudov (17-0, 16 KOs) retained his NABF heavyweight crown with a second-round TKO against the previously unbeaten Raphael Akpejiori (15-1, 14 KOs).
The two entered the contest with a combined record of 31-0, but Makhmudov’s amateur experience paid dividends. The 34-year-old dropped Akpejiori with a flurry that was initiated by a right uppercut, a punch he landed frequently.
He dropped Akpejiori again in the final seconds of the opening stanza, but the Nigerian survived despite wobbling to his feet. After another knockdown in the second round, referee Wes Melton deemed Akpejiori unable to continue.
Lightweight: Cleveland-born southpaw Abdullah Mason (9-0, 8 KOs) defeated Brazil’sAlex de Oliveira (20-5, 14 KOs) via second-round TKO. In the opening round, the 19-year-old phenom peppered Oliveira with quick jabs before tagging him to the body. In the following round, he ended the bout with a series of consecutive left hands.
Mason said, “It was amazing. I felt amazing. I felt great in this camp. Right now, there is no cap on my ceiling. I’m just focused, and I’m going hard.”
Junior Welterweight: 2020 U.S. Olympian Tiger Johnson (9-0, 5 KOs) turned away another stiff challenge tonight by outpointing Jonathan Montrel (15-2, 10 KOs) via eight-round decision. Johnson fought a disciplined fight and buzzed Montrel with stiff right hands in the later rounds. Scores: 80-72 3x.
Super Middleweight: Toledo native DeAndre Ware (16-4-2, 9 KOs) delivered an action-packed performance for his hometown fans as he beat Decarlo Perez (19-9-1, 6 KOs) via six-round unanimous decision. Ware dominated the action on the inside, punching around Perez’s guard to land hooks and uppercuts. Scores: 58-56 and 59-55 2x.
Junior Middleweight: Puerto Rico’s Nicklaus Flaz (11-2, 7 KOs) notched an upset eight-round majority decision win against Jahi Tucker (10-1, 5 KOs). Flaz pressed the action from the start, forcing Tucker to fight off his back foot and often while on the ropes. Scores: 76-76, 78-74 and 77-75.