Jared Anderson’s steady rise to the top of the heavyweight division has reportedly changed course, with Kazakhstan’s Zhan Kossobutskiy now unavailable for their July 1 showdown.
It was a test for Anderson in that Kossobutskiy is also undefeated with all but one of his 19 wins coming by way of knockout. The American is currently 14 for 14 in his fledgling campaign.
ESPN reports that visa issues for the Kazakh southpaw have now ruled him out of the contest, set to take place in Anderson’s hometown of Toledo, Ohio.
The other corner will instead be occupied by Charles Martin – former IBF Heavyweight World Champion. Also a leftie, Martin is 29-3-1 with 26 stoppages.
Martin progressed through the first 24 fights of his career undefeated, winning the vacant title against Vyacheslav Glazkov before being promptly dispatched by Anthony Joshua in two rounds.
Since then, the 37-year-old has been beaten over the distance by Adam Kownacki and stopped by Luis Ortiz – although he did have Ortiz down twice before he was stunned himself.
With his last fight a KO win over Devin Vargas in September of 2022, ‘Prince’ Charles has now taken the Anderson fight on 11 days notice – something not many would do against the 23-year-old who is fast becoming discussed as the heir to the heavyweight throne.
All but one of ‘Big Baby’s knockouts have come in the first four rounds, and whilst Martin’s southpaw stance and years of experience may provide some new tests, the odds will likely lean towards another early night.
Still, it’s a good step up for Anderson in the wake of a pull-out. The ever-confident Martin certainly carries power, and has been in with some top names over his 11 year career.
The card is set to be broadcast on ESPN in the States and Sky Sports in the UK.