By Lem Satterfield


Heavyweight champion Charles Martin mouthed the words, “You’re scared, I can smell it on you and see it in your eyes” during a brief stare down with challenger Anthony Joshua the first time the two met a couple months ago in England – Joshua’s home country.

Martin (23-0-1, 21 KOs) is undaunted by the thought ofentering hostile territory for his first IBF heavyweight titledefense against the hard-hitting Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs) at the O2 Arena in London, England, on SHOWTIME (5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT) on Saturday.

“I’m an animal. I don’t worry about people like that,” said Martin, who is an underdog to Joshua. “I’m just myself. I don’t even notice any difference in my surroundings. If you’re cool with me and you have respect for me, then we’re good. If you don’t, I’m not going to sweat you. I don’t care.”

Martin is coming off a third-round TKO victory over Vyacheslav Glazkov (21-1-1, 13 KOs) to win the IBF title in January. He became the sixth southpaw to win a heavyweight crown.

Martin brought 12 straight knockouts into his fight with Glazkov, and had only gone past the fourth round once - a 10th-round KO of Raphael Zumbano Love in February.

“I don’t care how many people are cheering his name,” said Martin. “I don’t care that he’s an Olympic gold medalist with a lot of British fans. I’ve been an underdog all my life. They said the same thing about the last fight.”


April 15 is a bittersweet day for light heavyweight contender Edwin Rodriguez. On the one hand he looks forward to celebrating the birthday of his 3-year-old son Evan Kaden Rodriguez, the youngest of his three children.

On the other hand is the same day that Tamerlan Tsarnaevset off two bombs that disrupted the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring more than 250 others, in 2013.

“We were sitting there in the hospital watching it on the news the same day my son was born,’’ said Rodriguez, who is from Worchester, Mass. “The guy that did it was a former boxer and I had sparred with him before, and it was like a double-shocker because a lot of people got hurt.” 

“It was messed up to know that it was somebody I had shared the ring with and spoken to before. But it was a blessing that my son was born. He’s an amazing kid who loves boxing, loves coming to the boxing gym with me and wears his little four-ounce gloves and imitate all of the things that I’m doing.”

Rodriguez had experienced troubled births with his twins, Serena and Edwin Jr., who were born on September 29, 2006. They were born four months premature, weighing one pound and three ounces and had severe respiratory problems. For some time Edwin Jr. was unable to breathe without the assistance of a respirator.

The children remain an inspiration for Rodriguez (28-1, 19 KOs) as he prepares to face Thomas Williams, Jr. (19-1, 13 KOs) on the under card of the welterweight rematch between Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto at The StubHubCenter in Carson, California on FOX and FOX Deportes (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT).


Former welterweight champion Luis Collazo has fought both Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto. He lost a unanimous decision to Berto in 2009 and stopped Ortiz in the second round in 2014.

So, he will be a keen observer when Berto and Ortiz face each other in a rematch on FOX and FOX Deportes (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT) at the StubHub Center in Carson, California on April 30.

Berto (30-4, 23 KOs) has openly questioned the heart of Ortiz (31-5-2, 24 KOs) in advance of their rematch. In the first match five years ago Berto lost his WBC welterweight title to Ortiz via 12-round unanimous decision as the two boxers traded knockdowns through out the match – each going down in the sixth round. 

Since the two of them fought in 2014, Collazo has had ongoing conversations with Ortiz and gives the edge to Ortiz in what he believes will be a thrilling match.

“A lot of people say Victor doesn’t have heart, but things happen in certain fights, and I think he can capitalize on Berto’s mistakes, so I pick Victor to pull out the victory,” said Collazo. “If Berto goes back to his old style, where he was more focused and fought with his abilities, he can win. But he’s gotten away from that in his losses, and I think Victor’s going to give him another one again.”


John David Jackson, the trainer for Chris Algieri, believes Algieri will pose the most difficult challenge that southpaw Errol Spence Jr. has ever faced. In Jackson’s view it is because Algieri has faced more difficult opposition, and will benefit from the wisdom that Jackson, a left-handed former middleweight champion and southpaw-training specialist. 

 “Spence has been spoon-fed his opponents in a good way. I don’t see one fight where he had to really dig down and dig deep to pull out a victory, so what you can say is that that was very good management, he’s won his fights impressively and he’s looked spectacular doing it,” said Jackson.

Spence (19-0, 16 KOs) will be after his seventh consecutive knockout against Algieri (21-2, 8 KOs) in their welterweight clash on Premier Boxing Champions on NBC at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on April 16.

Jackson believes his southpaw training will make the difference for Algieri.

“I try to show him what most southpaws are going to do, working different angles and the habits and tendencies that southpaws have in trying to avoid shots,’’ Jackson said. “There are certain things that he does well, and we work on those, and there are certain things that he doesn’t’ do well, and we work on that as well hoping to expose those things on fight night.’’

“Spence is very good, well-taught and well-schooled, and his trainers have done an excellent job with the kid. We have to see if we can expose the mistakes that he still makes as a pro and try to neutralize some of his strengths. I get in there simulate things with my mitts. I just try to show Chris certain things, and on fight night, hopefully they’re all going to fall into place.”