The Wonder Boy from Ifugao appears to be getting his wish as he gears for his first fight this year.
In what could be yet his toughest fight, Carl Jammes Martin will face Joe Tejones in the co-main event of the Elorde International Productions offering this Saturday, February 20, at the Binan Football Stadium in Binan, Laguna.
Martin will be staking his pristine 16-0, win-loss card against the dangerous Tejones (13-7) in what boxing promoter Brico Santig as the 21-year old toughest fight to date.
“Sa akin ito na ang pinakamabigat na kalaban ni Wonder Boy, 50/50 siya (For me this will be the toughest fight yet for the Wonder Boy. It will be 50/50 [chance of victory]),” Santig told this writer.
Although the fight is non-title, “it will be an acid test for our fighter,” added Santig, whose ward KJ Natuplag fell to the Valencia City, Bukidnon native through split decision in June 15, 2019.
Three months later, however, Tejones was KO’ed by Tsuyoshi Tameda.
It was a wish granted for Martin who was nearly sidelined for almost a year due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
“I just hope that some boxing promoters will invite me to fight,” the 21-year old southpaw earlier said. Luckily he fought before the end of 2020 were he unanimously decided Richard Rosales in December 18 in Cebu.
“I do hope to pick up the slack since all promotions were cancelled due to the pandemic. My team is doing its best to seek for more fight, ” added the fighter in an aired interview over a government network last January.
Martin continues to train as he is also expected to go up the weight ladder from bantamweight to super bantamweight.
“Mahirap na kasing i-maintain ang dating weight ko (It’s now difficult to maintain my old weight),” quipped the Ifugao pride who was named “Boxer of the Year” by the Kafagway/Kordillera International Sports Luminary Awards Podium (KISLAP) during the Silahis ng Pasko in 2019.
The super bantamweight fight, a level up for the now 21-year old Ifugao pugilist, will be the co-main event in the Games and Amusement Board and Fightnews Asia co-presented fight with Robert Paradero and Victorio Saludar slugging it out for the World Boxing Association minimumweight belt.
The title fight between the unbeaten Paradero (18-0) and Saludar (20-4) was supposedly scheduled last January 30 but due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), it was moved to Saturday with the Mindanao based Saludar needing to be quarantined for 14 days to be able to fight.
The fight was actually slated on December 5 last year but was moved to January 30. Also, there was also a problem with the venue since Paranaque, where Elorde is based and the original venue is still under general community quarantine.
The 24-year old pride of Valencia City, Bukidnon last fought on April 5 2019 where he knocked out Jonathan Almacen.
He won the World Boxing Organization Asia Pacific Youth minimum title in April 4, 2018 by scoring a unanimous decision over Royder Lloyd Brobon.
The 5’1” fighter has won 12 of his fights via KO or technical KO and needed only 86 rounds to finish, meaning most did not go the distance.
The 30-year old Saludar, meanwhile, is a former World Boxing Organization minimum champion who won the belt when he scored a unanimous decision on Ryuya Yamanaka in July 13, 2018.
He was able to defend the belt successfully against Masataka Taniguchi in February 26, 2019 but lost it six months later to Wilfredo Mendez via unanimous decision.
On December 21, 2019, Saludar took the vacant Asian Boxing Federation minimum crown by knocking out Mike Kinaadman, the third time he fought the boxer which all went his way, two of the fights by KO.