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Ortiz vs Martin in New Year’s Day boxing bowl, Fox PPV

Written By | Dec 31, 2021
Big stakes for heavyweights Luis Ortiz Jr. (left) and Charles Marti in their main event on New Year's day. Photo: Ryan Hafey, Premier Boxing Champions Ortiz vs Martin

Big stakes for heavyweights Luis Ortiz Jr. (left) and Charles Marti in their main event on New Year’s day. Photo: Ryan Hafey, Premier Boxing Champions

SAN DIEGO, Calif., December 31, 2021 – Boxing isn’t a traditional sport for New Year’s Day. Enter Premier Boxing Champions, rolling the dice at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, on an all-heavyweight on Fox Sports PBC PPV. Price tag is $39.95. The pay-per-view telecast begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PPV.

Participants in a rare boxing event on New Year's Day include (L to R) Viktor Faust, Michael Coffie, Gerald Washington, Frank Sanchez, Luis Ortiz, Charles Martin, Christian Hammer, Johnnie Rice, Ali Eren Demirezen and Iago Kiladze. Photo: Ryan Hafey, Premier Boxing Champions Ortiz vs Martin

Participants in a rare boxing event on New Year’s Day include (L to R) Viktor Faust, Michael Coffie, Gerald Washington, Frank Sanchez, Luis Ortiz, Charles Martin, Christian Hammer, Johnnie Rice, Ali Eren Demirezen, and Iago Kiladze. Photo: Ryan Hafey, Premier Boxing Champions

Luis “King King” Ortiz of Florida via Cuba (32-2, 27 KOs) faces American Charles Martin of Carson, California (28-2-1, 25 KOs) in an IBF title eliminator. Both men weighed in at nearly the same weight – 243.4 for Ortiz and 246.3 for Martin.

Martin is coming off a 23-month layoff but riding a three-fight win streak. Ortiz has been out 14 months, but his last appearance was a first-round knockout at 53 seconds. The previous fight was his 2019 battle against Deontay Wilder, a fight most observers had him winning until Wilder landed a vicious right hand to win a seventh-round knockout.

Luis Ortiz was controlling the action and winning on all three scorecards when the fight ended. Photo: Ryan Hafey, Premier Boxing Champions

Luis Ortiz controlled the action and won on all three scorecards when the fight ended. Photo: Ryan Hafey, Premier Boxing Champions

Martin, age 35, vows he’s going to do the same thing to Ortiz. “This is going to be a great fight. You don’t see two southpaws too often in the heavyweight division. You’re going to see some really good boxing in this fight.




“You’re going to get a knockout in this fight. We’re not going to go 12 rounds. I know I’m going to knock him out,” declared Martin this week in the final pre-fight news conference. Martin, who held the IBF title for three months before losing it to Anthony Joshua, calls the fight the start of his “revenge tour.” Martin is training with Manny Robles, who also trained another short-term heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz, Jr.

Charles Martin (left) hopes he's on the rise after his win over Gerald Washington. Photo: Ryan Hafey, Premier Boxing Champions Ortiz vs Martin

Charles Martin (left) hopes he’s on the rise after his win over Gerald Washington. Photo: Ryan Hafey, Premier Boxing Champions

“Me and my trainer Manny Robles have been doing a lot of great work in the gym. People only see what happens in the ring. They don’t see what happens behind closed doors. I have business to take care of on Saturday, and we’re ready,” said Martin.

Ortiz, age 41 (officially), shrugged off Martin’s declaration. “When somebody says they’re going to knock me out, it just makes me laugh and smile. Everybody says that. But you’re facing a fighter who has been through it before, so you can try your best.

“I’m glad that he’s saying that he’s going to knock me out. He’s coming with bad intentions, and so am I. Anyone can land the big shot, but it’s going to be me with my hand-raised Saturday night,” added Ortiz.

Both men have similar resumes. Ortiz has lost twice to Deontay Wilder, both by knockout. His most significant victory might be his 2015 win over Bryant Jennings. Martin was wiped out in two rounds against Anthony Joshua, and his other loss was to Adam Kownacki. In his last fight, he had an excellent performance against Gerald Washington, scoring a sixth-round TKO. Perhaps Martin is a late bloomer. It’s a coin toss, and we’ll make a narrow call for Martin.

Sanchez vs. Hammer in co-main

Frank Sanchez (left) showed serious boxing skills in his win over Efe Ajagba last October. Photo: Premier Boxing Champions

In the co-main event, unbeaten rising heavyweight star Frank “The Cuban Flash” Sanchez of Cuba (19-0, 13 KOs) follows up his win in October over Efe Ajagba against veteran Christian Hammer of Germany (26-8, 16 KOs) in a 10-round bout. Hammer is a late replacement and a solid step-up for Sanchez, trained by 2021 Trainer of the Year Eddy Reynoso.

“I’ve learned so much under (Eddy’s) tutelage. It’s put me in a position to give a great performance Saturday on pay-per-view,” said Sanchez. “Christian Hammer is a good fighter, and I’m going to be ready for him. That’s what we train for. The opponent doesn’t matter if you’ve prepared to 100% of your ability.”

“It’s my job to take these fights,” said Hammer. “I’m going to do my job and give everyone a good fight on Saturday. I know Sanchez is a good fighter, but I’ve faced a lot of good fighters. We’ll see what he’s made of.” Props to Sanchez for keeping busy and keeping himself in front of the fans.

Rice takes the rematch against Coffie

Michael Coffie has a score to settle with Johnnie Rice, but Rice promises a replay. Photo: Ryan Hafey, Premier Boxing Champions

Heavyweight contenders Jonnie Rice of Los Angeles (14-6-1, 10 KOs) and Michael Coffie of Kissimmee, Florida (12-1, 9 KOs) return for a rematch of their July 31 fight. Rice won a fifth-round TKO, a replacement for Gerald Washington due to a positive COVID-19 test.

“A lot of people thought it was a fluke, so now I just have to do the same thing times two. I’m getting paid more this time, so I’m going to do it even quicker in this fight. Everyone knows how these things go. I was a big underdog in the first fight, so everyone thinks something must have gone wrong. Something had to be out of the ordinary. Let’s understand something, though. It’s going to go down the same way Saturday night,” said Rice.



Coffie says he’s far better prepared this time and 100% ready to go. “I definitely have a chip on my shoulder now. I have to prove myself. I didn’t get a chance to show what I can actually do in the first fight. I don’t even care about my record. I just want to show my skills. Everyone is going to see on Saturday.”

Also on the pay per view:

Former title challenger Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington of San Jose (20-4-1, 13 KOs) faces Turkish Olympian Ali Eren Demirezen (14-1, 11 KOs), scheduled for ten rounds. Washington is coming off the loss to Martin but stopped Robert Helenius in the prior fight. Demirezen’s only loss was to Efe Ajagba.

Undefeated Viktor Faust (formerly Vykhurst) of Ukraine (8-0, 6 KOs) faces Iago Kiladze of Georgia (30-5, 11 KOs) in a 10-round fight as the pay-per-view opener. Faust scored a third-round knockout of Mike Marshall on the Fury Wilder 3 undercard. Kiladze has come up short against Ajagba, Joe Joyce, and Michael Hunter, but he’s a wild man in the ring and unpredictable.

Worth your ATM fash cash?

This card would be an excellent alternative to college football if it were free on Fox Sports 1. But you’re being asked to cough up $40 for it. Some of the matchups aren’t half bad, and with heavyweights, there’s always the prospect of an impressive knockout. How much money is left in your wallet after the holidays? How much of a hangover do you still have? Praise to Premier Boxing Champions and TGB Promotions for putting on this rare New Year’s Day card. I have nothing but compliments. But whoever decided to ask the fans to pay their ATM fast cash for it is a serious party pooper.

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is a veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more coverage in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.

Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities Digital News when quoting from or linking to this story.  

Copyright © 2021 by Falcon Valley Group

 

 

Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego based communications consulting firm. Falkenthal is a veteran award-winning broadcast and print journalist, editor, producer, talk host and commentator. She is an instructor at National University in San Diego, and previously taught in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.