By Eliot Stott
Meeting Iain ‘Badman’ Martell for the first time via a zoom call was pretty much the definition of someone who doesn’t mince their words whilst at the same time being happy to elaborate on absolutely anything when asked to – perhaps a rarity in the video call era that we find ourselves in.
‘I’m fantastic brother, how are you?’. Iain greeted me as if we’d been long-term friends, erasing any potential awkwardness before we cracked on with the interview ahead of his latest fight.
‘Mate I’ll be honest with you, I got a phone call this morning telling me that he’s pulled out’. In what was supposed to be an intriguing contest over 8 rounds against Steve Collins Jr this Friday night has unfortunately been called off due to Collins Jr due to the Irishman suffering a perforated eardrum.
‘To be honest we predicted this so it’s not a massive surprise to us – apparently, he’s mentioned us fighting down the road but I seriously question whether that will happen, especially after my performance against his replacement on Friday.’
‘Thankfully, I’m still fighting on Friday and whoever I come up against is getting the exact same treatment that Steve would have got.’
With there being limited point in continuing to discuss a fight that may well never happen, we decided to take a look back at certain points of Martell’s 10 fight career so far, not necessarily in chronological order.
Iain was fortunate enough to fight at the last pre-lockdown show in March 2020 – winning the Southern Area Cruiserweight Title against Jose Lopes in front of a York Hall that hasn’t been full ever since.
‘In the days leading up to the fight, we were nervous thinking that it wasn’t going to happen. Covid had just started to kick off in the UK so there was a strange feeling around that night but looking back, I feel super fortunate to have being able to fight on that show everything considered.’
‘Performance wise I was awful, I should have got him out of there inside 5 rounds. No excuses, he fought a good fight so fair play to him but happy to have got the job done.’
After over a year out of the ring, Iain fought well travelled journeyman Elvis Dube in Sheffield in a fight that only lasted 2 rounds as the undefeated fighter became the first man in over 2 years to stop Dube.
‘It feels like there has been a lot of upsets recently so I was actually a bit nervous for this one. For example, Tyrone McCullagh has gone from going the distance with Ryan Walsh to getting stopped by Brett Fidoe (14-65) the other night so anything can happen.’
I was also aware that Elvis has won his last fight by stoppage which put a bit more pressure on! However, it was a pretty good performance by myself and I’m glad that I got the stoppage in the fashion that I did.’
Under the impression that Iain is expecting perhaps a lighter test on Friday night compared to what Steve Collins Jr may have had in store I didn’t hesitate to ask what lies next in Iain’s career.
‘Over the last couple of years I’ve called out the likes of James Branch, Ultimate Boxxer winner Mikael Lawal – good undefeated fighters but none of those fights have come through, unfortunately.
Currently, I actually think that Steven Ward would be a good fight for me. He fights in the same gym as Steve Collins Jr and has Peter Taylor as his coach so the prospect of going up against them as a team is something that I’d love to do.’
Taking Iain’s ‘I’ll fight anyone’ attitude into consideration I wanted to know if he had a set plan for the next 12 months or if he was taking things on a fight by fight basis for the time being.
‘I’ve been debating a move to Light-Heavyweight with my team recently as we believe that I’d be able to make that weight comfortably so we’ll see. The domestic scene at 175lbs is wide open at the moment so it’s understandably appealing to someone in my position.
I just want to have fun really. Boxing’s a short career at the best of times and I’ve come into it late due to my MMA background & I’ve had no amateur fights so I will genuinely fight anyone that I need to in order to progress.’
As well as touching on fights past, present & future, I was interested in Iain’s current contractual situation given he had previously fought on Steve Goodwin shows at York Hall but was scheduled to fight on a Fight Zone card over the weekend.
‘So Fight Zone have actually offered me a 4 fight deal which is a great offer considering the current circumstances. My Manager & Dennis Hobson are both doing a great job so things are pretty good in that department. Honestly, there are good kids on all off the Fightzone shows and for £1.25 a show you can’t really complain.
Finally, after briefly going into Iain’s MMA background, I was reminded that he had given former boxer and current BKB fighter Tyler Goodjohn a shout-out on social media ahead of his latest fight in which he unfortunately came up short in.
‘I want to say this loud and proud – Tyler comes across as an absolute lunatic on social media whether it’s the Only Fans stuff that he does or not. However, I promise you he’s one of the most humble people you’ll ever meet and all he’s trying to do is put food on the table for his children.
If his fight against Palomino had gone on longer, I believe he could have got the victory and he’ll definitely come again.
‘Believe it or not, I’ve actually called some of the BKB guys out as well in the past! There’s a guy called Jake Bostwick who I was supposed to fight in MMA years ago but he’s a shithouse and wants nothing to do with me! Feel free to post that and he’ll happily hide behind his Instagram followers. Given my background, fighting in BKB is definitely an option one day.’
Before wishing him luck ahead of Friday, Iain moved away from fighting talk for a few moments and disclosed what he really wants to do post fighting and post pandemic.
‘At the end of the day, all I want to do is take my Mum to Jamaica, and sit down with a Pina Colada – I’ve promised this to her for a while.’
Iain fights this Friday on Fightzone - https://www.fightzone.uk/
Follow Iain on Instagram here - https://www.instagram.com/official_martell/