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Young Carl Martin finally gets crack at PH title

It’s official. Ifugao boxing prospect Carl Jammes “Wonderboy” Martin will now get his shot at the Philippine super bantamweight title.

Defending champion Mark Anthony Geraldo last week submitted the contract to fight promoter Cucuy Elorde, which he signed along with manager Leonil Lazarito. It will see the Bukidnon-born boxer stake his belt against Martin on December 4 at the Elorde Sports Complex.

The Games and Amusement Board (GAB), in last month’s regular ratings, made Martin the mandatory challenger to Geraldo, who will be making the third defense of the prestigious crown. He won the title when he knocked out the highly-touted Virgel Vitor last February 2019 in Tagbilaran, Bohol.

“Simula po nang lumaban na ako sa Manila, nakita ko po kung gaano kagaling ang mga boxers dito. Kaya pinangarap ko na agad na maging isang Philippine champion,” said Martin who remains unbeaten in 17 bouts, 15 of which ended via knockout.

This will be his first fight since the pandemic erupted in March of last year. Still, Geraldo is sure to offer Martin one tough battle.

Geraldo’s claim to fame was when he beat current IBF world super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas via majority decision during their 12-round regional title fight last March 2012 in Cebu.

“Malayong malayo po talaga ang kalidad ni Geraldo kumpara sa kahit siguro lahat ng nakalaban ko. Bukod po sa Philippine title, gustong-gusto ko talaga itong laban na ito dahil ang defending champion ay kilalang-kilala sa kaniyang experience,” said Martin.

Geraldo, in compiling a record of 38-9-3, 19 via stoppage, has fought the best in his division. And those include former world champions McJoe Arroyo of Puerto Rico and Nourdine Oubaali of France and world title challengers Takuma Inoue of Japan and Bacolod’s pride Arthur Villanueva.

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Martin, meanwhile, has his throng of followers egging him to take on quality foreign foes or start campaigning abroad.

But the 22-year-old Hingyon, Ifugao-native pugilist, who remains a promotional free agent, insists they have a long-term, prudent plan for his career.

“Aabot naman po tayo siguro dun pero sa ngayon, best option itong si Geraldo kasi nga, Philippine champion. Pinag-aaralan na din po naman ang mga offers para hindi po pagsisihan lahat kung makapasok sa isang deal,” said Martin.

Among those reportedly interested in handling the boxing affairs of Martin include Fil-American Morris East, Filipino links of Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank, Inc., the newly-formed Probellum of respected boxing executive Richard Schaeffer, Sean Gibbons of MP Promotions, and Zamboanga Valientes owner Junnie Navarro.

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