Former IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin believes Tyson Fury’s gloves “didn’t look right” in a bizarre rant against the ‘Gypsy King’ after claiming that footage from his first fight against Deontay Wilder was actually from his second successful victory.
Disgruntled fans of Wilder have claimed that Fury may have cheated in the first bout with Wilder back in December 2018, with video footage appearing to show the Briton with a floppy glove as he punched the American. It was suggested that Fury had used the unpadded part of his glove to hit Wilder to maximise the damage inflicted with each punch - a claim that has been strongly denied by Fury’s cut-man Jacob ‘Stitch’ Duran and referee Jack Reese, and even denied by rival Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn.
Those from within the sport appear to have collectively dismissed the accusations, while Wilder has not made any reference to the claims, which is what makes Martin’s outburst even more extraordinary.
While Martin’s admission that Fury’s glove “didn’t look right” would cause a stir in it’s own right, what really stands out in his comments is the fact that he believes the footage that has spread online is from the second fight on 22 February this year - as opposed to the first fight in December 2018 - because Fury is wearing the same gloves and trunks. What is lost on Martin though is the fact that Wilder is wearing gold gloves in the video - which he did in the first bout - as opposed to the black gloves he wore last month.
“I’m just a man about no PEDs (performance enhancing drugs) in the sport, no cheating in the sport,” Martin said. “It’s two lions going at it in the heavyweight division.
“It’s very dangerous and I think everybody should be fighting on a fair playing field. These rumours are coming out about how there was something wrong with his glove and all this stuff. I mean, who knows? Well, I seen it. The internet is s*** anyways. It could have been photoshopped. Who knows?
“A lot of people say that, but them trunks and the gloves were from the last fight. I was there at the last fight. But yeah, that was from the last fight, his s*** (left glove) was like flopping and stuff like that. It looked like his fist was at the bottom of the glove where there’s no padding, you know what I mean?
“I’m an honest man. The s*** didn’t look right. So maybe that’s why he busted his eardrum or something with that crazy shot with the glove being messed up like that.
“I’m just about being fair. I dislike fighters that use drugs, and I dislike fighters that cheat on any matters. I’m not taking anything from Fury. It was a good win for Fury, and they got a trilogy going. That’s what it is.”
Martin secured a sixth-round stoppage against Gerald Washington on the undercard of the Fury versus Wilder II bout, which puts him back into title contention as a potential challenger to current IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. Four years ago Joshua knocked Martin out in a devastating display to become world champion for the first time, though five wins in six bouts has seen him rise back to No 2 in the IBF rankings, one spot behind Kubrat Pulev who faces Joshua on 20 June.
The prospect is unlikely if Fury defeats Wilder in their third bout on 18 July, as victory would almost certainly set up a title unification bout with Joshua, but Martin could find himself thrown into the mix if that situation doesn’t progress as planned.
That could be seen as the motive behind Martin’s strong outburst, and he went on to claim how easy it would be to deceive the commission officials who oversee the process of wrapping the fists as the each boxer’s gloves are put on.
“They watch you pee, and make sure they get the samples,” said Martin. “They watch you wrap your hands, and make sure everything is fair. And they watch you put your gloves on, and tape your gloves. Money makes people look away. How about that. It’s as simple as I can say it. I think it looked crazy. The glove looked messed up. So I don’t know.”
Martin also had a verdict to give on Wilder’s claim that his heavy ring-walk outfit drained the energy from his legs before the fight, which resulted in his below-par performance.
“I’m not going to say too much, but that’s what I’ll say. That’s bulls***,” Martin said. “You put it on, you walked out there. That’s bulls***.
“I don’t buy it. I’m not with him on that, you know what I mean?”