Heavyweight stars Luis Ortiz and Charles Martin collide on New Year’s Day after agreeing to a contest of two highly-avoided fighters, the latter claimed.
After scouting for opponents, Ortiz and Martin decided to sign on the dotted line for a former world title challenger and champion meet.
Ortiz has been a fixture atop heavyweight rankings with exceptional power and sublime technical skills for years. His only defeats came in memorable contests against former longtime heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.
“I can’t wait to give my fans in South Florida a great show on New Year’s Day. To earn another shot at the heavyweight title,” said Ortiz.
“Charles Martin is a good fighter, but he’s standing in my way.
“The only thing on my mind is getting in the ring. I want to make a big statement in this fight to show again why the heavyweight division fears me.”
Born in Camaguey, Cuba, and trained by longtime coach Herman Caicedo in Miami, Ortiz won three bouts between the Wilder contests.
He defeated Travis Kauffman, Christian Hammer and Razvan Cojanu.
Before that run, Ortiz picked up victories over Bryant Jennings, Tony Thompson, and Malik Scott to build up his heavyweight resume.
Most recently, Ortiz blasted out Alexander Flores in the first round of their November 2020 bout.
The 35-year-old Martin became heavyweight champion in January 2016 when he won by TKO against then-unbeaten Vyacheslav Glazkov.
After losing his title to Anthony Joshua, Martin has won five of his last six fights, with all of his wins coming inside the distance.
Originally from St. Louis, Martin is now living in Las Vegas. He currently trains in Southern California with Manny Robles.
Martin bounced back from a narrow decision defeat to Adam Kownacki in 2018 to earn three-straight victories, including most recently knocking out Gerald Washington in February 2020.
He believes the pair had no choice but to fight.
“Nobody wants to fight me, and nobody wants to fight Ortiz, so we’ll fight each other,” said Martin. “I’m going to show the world on January 1st why I deserve a title shot.
“I’ve paid my dues. I want my belt back. Beating Ortiz is going to get me one step closer to that goal.
“To become two-time heavyweight champion, I have to get past Ortiz first, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”
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