This coming Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, heavyweights Vyacheslav Glazkov of the Ukraine and American Charles Martin will face each other, on the undercard of Deontay Wilder’s defense of his WBC heavweight belt against Artur Szpilka. This is a bout I’m anxious to see. Glazkov was an Olympic bronze medalist in 2008 and remains undefeated in his professional career. Although I think he should have lost to Malik Scott (a draw) in 2013 and Steve Cunningham last March, I certainly view Glazkov as a top-10 contender.
Martin makes for an interesting opponent for Glazkov. He didn’t star boxing until age 22 and had just 63 amateur fights, but he also won a National Police Athletic League title. He’s undefeated so far as a professional, 22-0-1 with 20 KOs. He’s got size (6’5″ and 245 pounds), athletic ability and the general look of a potential contender in an American heavyweight scene that is starved for them.
There’s a lot to like about a fight between Glazkov and Martin. The fact that this bout will be for the vacant IBF world title isn’t one of those things.
In this case, IBF should stand for “Idiotic Boxing Federation.” Their heavyweight trinket became vacant when they stripped it from Tyson Fury, because they were unwilling to allow Fury to defend it in a rematch against Wladimir Klitschko before defending it against Glazkov, the IBF’s mandatory contender.
Glazkov has done enough at this point to deserve a shot at the title sometime in 2016. But he most certainly doesn’t deserve to jump over Klitschko’s rematch. Klitschko has dominated the heavyweight division for almost all of this century.
While Glazkov is a legitimate title contender, Martin is anything but. He has beaten absolutely nobody to earn this title shot. I’m not even sure who I would regard as Martin’s best win. Trial Horses Raphael Love or Kertson Manswell, who both make a living getting knocked out by contenders? Scrappy, portly, yet undersized, journeyman Joey Dawejko? Martin has the resume of an interesting prospect, not a true contender.
It will be interesting to see how Glazkov will handle Martin, who will enjoy an advantage of two inches in height and roughly 25 pounds in weight. Glazkov could confirm his standing as a top heavyweight in this bout, but Martin could emerge from it as a new face to watch. Both men have a lot to gain from this fight.
However, nobody should regard the winner of this fight as a true world champion, no matter what one particular alphabet-soup body claims.