Iain Martell Interview - 'We Predicted That Collins Jr Would Drop Out!'

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 sch