07
Apr
2020

Andy Ruiz Jr. vs Charles Martin: IBF final eliminator possible for AJ shot

Phil Jay 19/03/2020
Andy Ruiz Jr vs Charles Martin IBF

📸 Ian Walton / Mikey Williams

World Boxing News understands a final IBF heavyweight title eliminator between ex-title holders Andy Ruiz Jr. and Charles Martin could happen in 2020.

Ruiz and Martin, who held versions of the top division crown until dethroned by Anthony Joshua, are both vying for another crack at the Briton.

Martin won his world title when defeating Vyacheslav Glazkov for the vacant red strap in 2016. The bout came just weeks after Tyson Fury was stripped.

In what was seen as cashing in, Martin then traveled to the UK just three months later. He surrendered his belt to Joshua in just two rounds.

Since then. ‘Prince Charles’ has lost just one of his subsequent six bouts and recently won a number two eliminator against Gerald Washington.

The fight took place on the Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder II undercard.

Therefore, Martin will be ratified for a crack at the number one spot. That’s once Kubrat Pulev gets his stipulated chance against Joshua in June.

The number one spot will become vacant on June 21st, leaving Martin to face the next contender in line.

At this point, that heavyweight is Michael Hunter as number three-ranked Oleksandr Usyk is already getting his crack with the WBO.


WBN believes Hunter may have other plans in the pipeline in regards to ratings. This leaves Martin and the number five in Ruiz Jr.

Ruiz, who crushed Joshua last June before losing a return when vastly overweight in Saudi Arabia, is seen as an ideal foe for Martin.

Both Martin and Ruiz are signed to Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions. The IBF is set to be pushed hard by Haymon to sanction the fight for number one status.

Once Pulev and Usyk drop out of the race, Martin will be ranked at two. Hunter then third and Ruiz in fourth.

Should Hunter be directed elsewhere, potentially a WBA route, Martin and Ruiz will occupy the two positions behind the mandatory.

It all depends on whether Hunter wants to take on Martin, under the advice of promoter Eddie Hearn. Or whether he will divert his attention to the winner of Mahmoud Charr vs Trevor Bryan or Robert Helenius.

More will be revealed in the coming weeks as boxing continues its coronavirus blackout.

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Anthony Joshua IBF
📸 Lawrence Lustig

IBF HEAVYWEIGHT RATINGS – TOP 15 (MARCH 2020)
CHAMPION: ANTHONY JOSHUA

1 KUBRAT PULEV – BULGARIA
2 CHARLES MARTIN – UNITED STATES
3 OLEKSANDR USYK – UKRAINE
4 MICHAEL HUNTER – UNITED STATES
5 ANDY RUIZ JR – MEXICO
6 ROBERT HELENIUS – FINLAND
7 FILIP HRGOVIC – CROATIA
8 JOSEPH PARKER – NEW ZEALAND
9 TOM SCHWARZ – GERMANY
10 DEREK CHISORA – ZIMBABWE
11 TONY YOKA – FRANCE
12 AGIT KABAYEL – GERMANY
13 ZHANG ZHILEI – CHINA
14 DEMSEY MC KEAN – AUSTRALIA
15 OTTO WALLIN – SWEDEN

Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay