Boxing delivered another homecoming card for a fighter, resulting in a performance that wasn’t anticipated. Jared “The Real Big Baby” Anderson (15-0, 14 KOs) scored a unanimous decision victory over Charles Martin (29-4-1, 26 KOs) in front of a crowd of 7,234 at the Huntington Center in Toledo, OH. Although the judges saw this one 98-91, 99-90 & 99-90, the fight was far from easy for the 23-year-old heavyweight prospect.
In the first round, both men felt each other out as they battled for foot positioning. Anderson was landing sharp stabbing left jabs to Martin’s body while Martin landed a few straight left hands-on Anderson towards the end of the round that caught his attention. Anderson applied a ton of pressure in the second round, and towards the middle of it, he landed a straight right hand that was followed with a short left hook and straight right hand, which had Martin in a lot of trouble. Anderson couldn’t capitalize off it but knew he had Martin where he wanted him.
Anderson controlled the third round with his left jab and a ton of pressure. Towards the end of the round, Anderson landed a right cupping shot that sent Martin down for the fight’s first knockdown. In the fourth round, Anderson switching between orthodox and southpaw was giving Martin a ton of problems. Anderson kept switching and mixing up his offense, giving him windows of opportunity to land something big on Martin.
Although it seemed like Anderson was controlling the fight, the fifth round was a nightmare for him, and it was almost over. Martin dominated Anderson and hurt him badly with the one-two combination down the middle. Anderson barely survived the round, and there was a look of concern throughout the arena. Anderson had a bounce-back round in the sixth, where he kept the pressure on Martin. Although Anderson was the busier fighter in the round, Martin would land the straight left hand that would buzz Anderson.
Martin slowed down in the seventh round but landed a good straight left hand to the body that froze Anderson for a second before he resumed his offense. Anderson kept applying pressure and landed hard overhand rights as he took control of the fight. In the eighth round, Anderson landed a left and right hook to the body, which hurt Martin and led to Anderson teeing off a little on him throughout the round.
In round nine, Anderson dominated the round as the body punches he was landing on Martin started to take their toll. Again, towards the end of the round, Martin caught Anderson with a hard straight left hand. The last round saw Anderson dominating, but in the last ten seconds, Martin landed a straight left hand that rocked Anderson, but time ran out for Martin as the fight came to a close. Anderson passes a tough test and has something to work on as he progresses with his career.
ABDULLAH MASON BUTCHERS ALEX DE OLIVEIRA IN TWO ROUNDS
Billed as the co-main event, 19-year-old lightweight prospect Abdullah Mason (9-0, 8 KOs) from Cleveland, OH, put on a solid performance against Alex de Oliveira (20-5, 14 KOs). Mason looked like a seasoned veteran and certainly has the attention of boxing fans. Mason started the fight behind the right jab in the first round from the southpaw stance while Oliveira waited for counter-punch opportunities. That never materialized as Mason was too fast and would land three to four punches for every one Oliveira threw. In the second round, Mason landed a left hook that wobbled Oliveira, and Mason jumped all over him, leading to a left uppercut that sent Oliveira down to the canvas. Although Oliveira tried to get up, he could not, and the referee waved it off, which resulted in a second-round TKO victory for Mason, who is quickly becoming one of the sport’s hottest prospects.
ARSLANBEK MAKHMUDOV WINS BIG IN HIS U.S. DEBUT
In the opening fight on the ESPN telecast, Arslanbek Makhmudov (17-0, 16 KOs) made quick work of Raphael Akpejiori (15-1, 14 KOs) as he scored a second-round TKO victory. The fight wasn’t an example of high-level pugilism, but it did offer some big shots. Although the first round was a little sloppy, and the referee warned both men for excessive holding, Makhmudov was landing the bigger, cleaner shots and kept coming in with a hard overhand right and right uppercut. The overhand right scored for Makhmedov in the middle of the round, sending Akpejiori down for the fight's first knockdown. After beating the ten count, Akpejiori was on shaky legs, and Makhmudov jumped all over him and scored another knockdown with a hard left hook to the temple of Akpejiori towards the end of the first. Akpejiori beat the count and walked towards his corner as it was the end of the round. In the second round, a left hook by Makhmudov scored another knockdown, and the referee saw enough and called a halt to the action. Makhmudov scores an impressive TKO in his U.S. debut.