Martin talks the talk but still has plenty to prove with Joshua in way

The Herald - Herald Sport - - BOXING - GARY KE­OWN

CHARLES MARTIN is the man with the belt ahead of his world heavy­weight cham­pi­onship con­test with Bri­tain’s An­thony Joshua, but he talks the talk of the dis­grun­tled un­der­dog.

The Mis­souri na­tive was handed his op­por­tu­nity to emerge from rel­a­tive ob­scu­rity last month when the IBF, hav­ing stripped Tyson Fury of their ver­sion of the ti­tle, pitched him in with Vy­ach­eslav Glazkov and saw the Ukrainian in­jure his knee, per­mit­ting the third round TKO which crowned Martin’s sur­pris­ing rise to promi­nence.

The 29-year-old does not boast the am­a­teur cre­den­tials of Olympic cham­pion Joshua, though, and had not pulled up too many trees in build­ing up a record of 22 wins and one draw be­fore the Glazkov con­test.

Un­like Joshua, he was not be­ing groomed for great­ness. His rise came al­most as much by ac­ci­dent as de­sign. He knows it and he wants some of the adu­la­tion and hype that has sur­rounded the cur­rent Com­mon­wealth, Bri­tish and WBO In­ter­na­tional cham­pion since he de­cided to en­ter the paid ranks in the wake of his suc­cess at Lon­don 2012.

“I want what he’s got – the praise, the at­ten­tion and the fans,” said Martin as the pair faced off in Lon­don at a pro­mo­tional event on Fri­day.

“I will be here on April 9 to put on a show and show ev­ery­one why I’m world heavy­weight cham­pion. Ain’t no­body tak­ing it from me.

“He’s an Olympic gold medal­list, but I don’t think he’s ready for what I’m bring­ing: power, a lot of power. He’s a big hype job over here and I’m com­ing to take his fans.

Joshua’s own rise has cer­tainly been swift. He has only 15 pro­fes­sional con­tests un­der his belt, all suc­cess­fully ne­go­ti­ated within the dis­tance, with his last vic­tory – a sev­enth-round fin­ish of fel­low Brit, Dil­lian Whyte in De­cem­ber – pro­pel­ling him to­wards his date with des­tiny at the O2 Arena in Lon­don.

He ac­cepts he is still raw but in­sists he is not be­ing el­e­vated to this level pre­ma­turely.

“Tyson took 28 fights [be­fore fight­ing for the world ti­tle], Ali took 20, I think Len­nox Lewis was 24,” he said.

“I don’t think they were ever thrown in the deep end like I was.

“Some will say it is too soon, but I have to do what I feel is right.

“I’ve been in the Olympics, big Bri­tish dust-ups, I’ve gone through th­ese feel­ings, th­ese emo­tions, th­ese ex­pec­ta­tions.

“The rea­son I’m here so soon is be­cause of what I had to go through early on in my ca­reer, and what I have to take with me on April 9 is the be­lief that I’m ca­pa­ble.

Martin claims Joshua looked ‘scared’ when they went nose-to-nose.

“There’s no fear with me,” said Joshua. “I’m here and there is no turn­ing back.”

BE­LIEVE THE HYPE? Charles Martin has only earned 22 wins but feels he can still beat the Olympic cham­pion

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