Mature Martin warns Anderson to expect a 'different animal' – and to learn from his mistakes

Charles Martin has warned Jared Anderson that he is about to fight a “different fucking animal” from the one who previously made his name as one of the world’s leading heavyweights.

Martin has replaced Zhan Kossobutskiy as the promising Anderson’s opponent at Toledo’s Huntington Center on Saturday after the Kazakh was delayed in his attempts to obtain a visa.

The 37 year old – 14 years Anderson’s senior – also does so knowing that Saturday’s fight represents his finest chance for almost seven years.

It was in January 2016 that Martin beat Vyacheslav Glazkov to win the vacant IBF heavyweight title and, as a consequence, earned a career-high purse to defend it three months later against Anthony Joshua. Wearing, with his tongue firmly in his cheek, a crown to the ring that night at London’s O2 Arena, he was then duly knocked out in the second round.

Martin was inactive for the following year as he struggled to motivate himself until achieving a sense of stability in his personal life, and with the maturity that comes with becoming a husband and father he insists that he has achieved a level of professionalism he had always lacked.

It is that professionalism that contributed to him being in a position to accept Saturday’s fight with less than two weeks’ notice – he had been training at the Top Rank gym in Las Vegas – and speaking with a sense of peace that had deserted him for some time after his first defeat, he told ProBox TV: “It’s totally different. I don’t know how I got to this place, but staying on some kind of track is what put me here, I’m pretty sure, because it didn’t just happen overnight. 

“It was just me falling off the horse and getting back on. Falling off the horse and getting back on. You might go good for three days and then you derail yourself. You eat bad – get back on [the horse]. Don’t just say, ‘Oh, fuck it, I fucked up’. That’s what I used to do. ‘I messed up – I’ll just keep eating like this now, I’ll sleep in tomorrow.’ 

“No. Get up; go to the gym. Get up; go do what you gotta do. Make every day count. Win these small victories. It teaches me how to win these big victories.

Anderson, of Toledo, is perhaps the most hyped heavyweight since Joshua, the 2012 Olympic champion, in the months before and after his stoppage of Martin. 

Since that night Martin has lost twice more – to Adam Kownacki and Luis Ortiz – but as someone who witnessed the level of attention that continues to surround Joshua and who also knows the pressure of being one of American heavyweight boxing’s leading hopes, he has reminded his talented opponent of the need to remain not only focused but, as Joshua would also once have put it, “humble”.

“I’ve seen the clip of his last fight [April’s stoppage of George Arias],” Martin continued. “That was a good win for him. I just hope he stays humble and doesn’t let any of that go to his head, because that’s when you get humbled. Keep working hard; let your performances do the speaking. You don’t have to be cocky.

“It’s a fresh prospect. They [the public] love that. It’s his time. We’re on our way out; they’re on their way in. He’s the best thing smoking; big ups to him. I’m proud of him; happy for him. Let that shit shine through, man. Keep working hard though.