Anderson-Martin and Arslanbek Makhmudov-Raphael Akpejiori heavyweight doubleheader will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT
TOP RANK is set to present an exhilarating night of heavyweight fights this Saturday, featuring the highly anticipated main event between Jared Anderson (14-0, 14 KOs) and Charles Martin (29-3-1, 26 KOs). In preparation for this momentous event, the weigh-in took place today, with Anderson registering a weight of 243,4 lb, while Martin weighed in at 250,5 lb.
Preceding this epic showdown, fans will witness the colossal clash for the NABF heavyweight title, featuring Arslanbek Makhmudov (16-0, 15 KOs) going head-to-head against Raphael Akpejiori (15-0, 14 KOs). The “Lion” tipped the scales at 263,4 lb, while Akpejiori weighed in at 255,5 lb.
The atmosphere after the weigh-in was charged with tension, and the anticipation for intense battles inside the ring is palpable.
Anderson-Martin and a 10-round heavyweight co-feature between unbeaten punchers Arslanbek Makhmudov and Nigeria’s Raphael Akpejiori will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
“We weren’t going to let anything spoil the Toledo party,” Anderson said. “I have a new opponent, but it will be the same outcome.”
Martin said, “I’ve always said I will fight anyone, anywhere, anytime. If I have to fight on less than two weeks’ notice to get a big opportunity, so be it. I’m ready. And since I can’t get the best guys from my generation to fight me, I’ll fight the best guy from the new generation. My goal is to become a two-time heavyweight champion. I have to beat Jared Anderson to accomplish my goal.”
Anderson (14-0, 14 KOs) has only been extended past three rounds twice in a career that began with a first-round stoppage in October 2019. From April 2021 to December 2022, he notched five consecutive second-round knockouts, including one over the normally durable Jerry Forrest. Anderson began his 2023 campaign in April with a third-round stoppage over the previously undefeated George Arias. Martin (29-3-1, 26 KOs), a 37-year-old St. Louis native, captured the IBF heavyweight world title in January 2016 with a third-round TKO over Vyacheslav Glazkov. Martin lost his title to Anthony Joshua less than three months later, but he has remained a force on the heavyweight scene. He is 6-2 since the Joshua setback, including a highlight-reel stoppage over Gerald Washington in 2020. Martin is coming off a fourth-round knockout against Devin Vargas last September in Los Angeles.
Two Ohio-born talents have joined the pre-Independence Day celebration as part of the ESPN+-streamed undercard to the heavyweight doubleheader featuring Toledo’s Jared “The Real Big Baby” Anderson against Charles Martin in a 10-round main event on Saturday, July 1 at Toledo’s Huntington Center.
Cleveland native Abdullah Mason will make his third appearance of 2023 in a six-round lightweight fight against Tobias Green, while Toledo-born junior lightweight Tyler McCreary will face an opponent to be named in a six-rounder.
Mason (8-0, 7 KOs) is a 19-year-old prodigy who was considered one of the brightest talents in U.S. amateur boxing before signing with Top Rank in October 2021. Mason debuted as a pro the following month with a second-round TKO over Jaylan Phillips. In 2022, Mason went 5-0 with four knockouts. The southpaw phenom plans to be just as dominant this year after a first-round knockout over Erick Garcia Benitez in April and a sixth-round TKO win over Desmond Lyons last month on the Devin Haney-Vasiliy Lomachenko undercard. Green (10-3, 3 KOs) is a 27-year-old Floridian who returns after an eight-round decision win against Ryan Schwartzberg last October.
McCreary (17-2-1, 8 KOs) is an almost nine-year pro who is on the comeback trail. Following his 2019 showdown against former two-division world champion Carl Frampton, the 30-year-old experienced a near-two-year layoff before losing to Manuel Rey Rojas in 2021. Last month, however, he overcame another layoff to score a first-round knockout against Jake Bornea in Toledo.