It was a series of firsts for American heavyweight Jared Anderson.
Anderson (15-0, 14 KOs) failed to secure a knockout for the first time as a pro before a hometown crowd in Toledo, Ohio. However, Anderson defeated his best opponent to date, former IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin of Las Vegas (29-4-1, 26 KOs). Two judges scored the fight 99-90, with the third scoring 98-91 for Anderson. NYFights scored it 98-91.
Anderson dropped Martin in the third round, but Martin managed to fight back and buzz Anderson down the stretch to force the decision in front of 7,234 fans at the Huntington Center.
Martin accepted the assignment on 12 days' notice but was in top condition. Martin was in camp for a planned July 29 fight date against Armenian prospect Gurgen Hovhannisyan fighting out of Los Angeles (4-0, 4 KOs). Martin was asked to replace Anderson's original opponent, Kazakhstan's Zhan Kossobutskiy (19-0, 18 KOs), who could not obtain a visa in time.
Martin Finds Flaws in Anderson's Defense
The 37-year-old Martin promised to use his jab to thwart Anderson's offense. Instead, he often overextended the shot and left himself open for big counters.
Both fighters spent the early portion of the first round battling for position. With a minute remaining, Anderson began targeting Martin's midsection with several right-hand shots. With 20 seconds left in the round, Martin missed badly with a sweeping left hook.
With 2:23 remaining in the second round, Martin landed a sharp right jab on Anderson. However, Anderson closed the gap and fired back with his own jab moments later after successfully cutting off the ring. With 1:07 left, Anderson capitalized on a mistake and nailed Martin with a hard right hand that sent him reeling into the ropes.
Martin invested in the body to start the third round, landing a straight left hand downstairs. With 1:35 remaining, Anderson countered Martin's lazy jab with a sharp right-hand counter. Martin duplicated that sequence in the closing seconds of the round, and Anderson capitalized, flooring the 6-foot-5 former IBF heavyweight champion with a massive counter right hook.
Martin tried to negate the knockdown by complaining to referee Robert Hoyle that he was tripped, but his efforts fell short of the mark.
The Jared Anderson Show continued in round four as the unbeaten switch-hitter battered the slower Martin with lefts and rights throughout the one-sided showing.
Anderson Tests His Chin, Gets The Win
Anderson was dominating round five until he was caught with a huge one-two combination from Martin. Anderson's chin was tested as he staggered to the ropes on shaky legs. Badly buzzed, Anderson opted to fight on instinct and trade with Martin, who dished further punishment with left hands to the head and the body.
As the sixth round began, Anderson still did not have his legs back underneath him, and Martin immediately landed a counter right hand. However, Anderson reverted to using his jab, which sapped Martin's momentum.
Anderson stepped towards Martin in the seventh round and continued to pop Martin with the jab. The pace slowed down a tad as they approached the one-minute mark. With 28 seconds remaining, Anderson went to the body but was warned to keep his punches up.
By the start of round eight, Anderson had landed 41% of his punches per Compubox. He followed up by dominating the round with ease. With one minute left and fighting as a southpaw, Anderson connected with a pair of body shots that left Martin breathing from his mouth.
Martin connected with consecutive straight left hands to the body with 2:20 left in the ninth. Anderson came back with a left hook and doubled up on the jab as he looked to walk Martin down. He sent Martin reeling into the ropes with 29 seconds left on the ticker with a one-two combination. Martin landed a straight left at the bell, sending Anderson to the ropes.
In the final round, Anderson snapped Martin's head back with a one-two at 1:12 of the round. Twenty-two seconds later, Anderson feinted upstairs and landed with a left hand to the body.
As the clock ran down, Anderson lifted his arms in the air to hype up the hometown crowd down the stretch. It proved to be nearly a costly decision as Martin rocked Anderson at the bell with a big left hand. Martin winked as the two men hugged following the entertaining bout.
Undercard Results From Toledo
Ohio fighters got their opportunity to shine in front of their hometown fans on the undercard.
Lightweight prospect Abdullah Mason of Cleveland (9-0, 8 KOs) remained unbeaten when he knocked out Alex de Oliveira of Sao Paolo, Brazil (20-5, 14 KOs) at 2:18 of the second round for a home-state win.
Welterweight Tiger Johnson of Cleveland (9-0, 5 KOs) defeated Jonathan Mantrel of New Orleans (15-2, 10 KOs) in an eight-round unanimous decision.
Heavyweight Arslanbek Makhmudov of Montreal via Russia (17-0, 16 KOs) defeated Rapheal Akpejiori of Nigeria (15-1, 14 KOs) in a second-round TKO.