Jared Anderson (UD 10) and Arslanbek Makhmudov (TKO 2) Victorious in Toledo


Top Rank was in Toledo, Ohio tonight showcasing two of the sport’s most dynamic heavyweights. It was a homecoming for Toledo native Jared Anderson who was matched against former IBF title-holder Charles Martin in the featured bout.

Heading in, Anderson had won all 14 of his fights by knockout while answering the bell for only 33 rounds. Tonight, he was forced to go the distance and although he won a lopsided 10-round decision (98-91, 99-90, 99-90) he had more than a few anxious moments.

Anderson scored the bout’s only knockdown, dropping Martin in the waning seconds of round three with an overhand counter right hand. Martin was up in a jiff complaining that their legs had become tangled but replays showed otherwise.

Round five was the most one-sided round of the fight and in a major surprise the round belonged to the pony-tailed Charles Martin who at age 37 was the older man by 14 years. He had the house fighter on rubbery legs. It was the first time in his career that Anderson had faced adversity. But Anderson weathered the storm. Martin (29-4-1, 26 KOs) landed a big left hand in the seconds before the final bell, but Anderson remained upright and when the final bell sounded, the decision that would be rendered in his favor was a mere formality.


Arslanbek Makhmudov has stopped 16 of his 17 opponents. The latest victim was Raphael Akpejiori who was overwhelmed in a match that was all over in the second round. A native of Nigeria who lettered four years in basketball at the University of Miami without getting much playing time, the six-foot-eight Akpejiori entered the contest with a misleading 15-0 (14) record.

A stablemate of Artur Beterbiev, Makhmudov carried 263 ½-pounds on his six-foot-five frame. There is no finesse to his game – both he and Akpejiori drew warnings in the opening round for roughhousing – but like Beterbiev, he is a human steamroller, a man who clubs his opponent into submission, albeit not as methodically as Beterbiev; at age 34, the Russian Lion is a man in a hurry. He scored three knockdowns before the fight was waived off.

Other Bouts of Note

In a 6-round match that was sandwiched between the main attractions, Abdullah Mason (8-0, 7 KOs), a 19-year-old Cleveland southpaw with a big upside, blasted out Alex de Oliveira in the second round. A succession of left uppercuts, the last of which came with de Oliveria off his feet, sprawled against the ropes, brought the bout to a conclusion at the 2:18 mark of the second stanza. It was the fifth straight victory inside the distance for the Cleveland phenom who advanced to 9-0. de Oliveira, a 37-year-old Brazilian who stepped away from boxing for 10 years to pursue a career as a lawyer, falls to 20-5.

Cleveland junior welterweight Delante “Tiger” Johnson, a Tokyo Olympian, advanced to 10-0 (5) With an 8-round shutout over Jonathan Montrell (15-2) of New Orleans. The fight wasn’t quite as lopsided as the 80-72 scores would suggest. Montrell was a willing mixer but was outclassed.

In an 8-round junior lightweight affair, Toledo’s Tyler McCreary finished strong to win a unanimous decision over Deivi Julio. It was the second fight back for McCreary (18-2-1) following back-to-back defeats and then a drive-by-shooting in which he suffered a gunshot wound to his hand. The scores were 59-54 and 57-56 twice.

A 42-year-old Brazilian, Julio (26-14) had his moments and would have theoretically earned a draw if not for having had a point deducted for holding in the second round.

There was a big upset in a 6-round junior welterweight match. Rance Ward, a boxer from Houma, Louisiana, who was 7-5-1 heading in, scored a majority decision over previously undefeated Husam Al Mashhadi (6-1, 5 KOs). The scores were 59-55, 58-56, and a curious 57-57.

Photo credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank via Getty Images