On Saturday night, Luis “King Kong” Ortiz will face off against “Prince” Charles Martin in a battle of world title challenger hopefuls. The bout is an IBF title eliminator and will headline an all-heavyweight, Premier Boxing Champions on Fox Pay-Per-View card from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida on New Years Day 2022.
Ortiz (32-2, 27 KO) hasn’t seen much action in the ring recently, with just five fights in a span of almost four years. But despite the inactivity, Ortiz had reached the pinnacle of his career during that time, with two unsuccessful title opportunities against then WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder in 2018 and 2019. His most recent outing—and first fight since his rematch with Wilder, was a first-round knockout of Alexander Flores in November 2020.
Martin (28-2-1, 25 KO), who held the IBF heavyweight title in 2016, has won his last three bouts since losing a unanimous decision to Adam Kownacki in September 2018. But like Ortiz, Martin has been out of the ring for the entirety of 2021. In fact, Martin hasn’t fought since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with his most recent appearance being a sixth-round TKO of Gerald Washington in February 2020.
While the 42-year-old Ortiz and the 35-year-old Martin have been inactive and aren’t getting any younger, their upcoming bout will likely put the winner in the mix for another title shot or big money fight. So although their best fighting days may have passed, both men have a chance to extend their careers on Jan. 1 and increase their chances of getting their hands on a belt.
In the co-main event, rising heavyweight contender and former Cuban amateur standout Frank Sanchez (19-0, 13 KO) will face off against former Tyson Fury & Hughie Fury foe Christian Hammer (26-8, 16 KO) in a 10-round bout following a positive COVID-19 test from original opponent Carlos Negron. Also featured on the pay-per-view card is prospect Michael Coffie (12-, 9 KO), looking to avenge his lone defeat in a rematch against Jonathan Rice (14-6-1, 10 KO), who stopped him in the fifth round of their fight back in July.
Fighter’s Form (last 5 fights):
Alexander Flores - WIN by KO 1 - 07/11/2020
Deontay Wilder - LOSS by KO 7 - 23/11/2019
Christian Hammer - WIN by UD (100-90, 99-91, 99-91) - 02/03/2019
Travis Kauffman - WIN by TKO 10 - 01/12/2018
Razvan Cojanu - WIN by TKO 2 - 28/07/2017
Gerald Washington - WIN by TKO 6 - 22/02/2020
Daniel Martz - WIN by TKO 4 - 13/07/2019
Gregory Corbin - WIN by DQ 8 - 16/03/2019
Adam Kownacki - LOSS by UD (96-94, 96-94, 96-94) - 08/09/2018
Mike Marrone WIN by TKO 1 - 18/07/2017
Date: January 1st, 2022
Time: 2 am (GMT), 6pm (PT), 9pm (ET)
Venue: Hollywood, Florida, USA
Channel: Fox Sports Pay-Per-View