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Jared Anderson goes distance for first time but gets better of Charles Martin

Jared Anderson retains his WBO International and WBC USA heavyweight titles after being taken all the way by Charles Martin in front of a hometown crowd in Ohio; Anderson looked to finish former world champion Martin off but instead settled for a unanimous points victory

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Highlights of the heavyweight title clash between Jared 'Big Baby' Anderson and Charles Martin

Jared Anderson went the distance for the first time as he defeated former world champion Charles Martin via a unanimous decision on Saturday evening in front of 7,234 hometown fans in Ohio.

The heavyweight's athleticism helped him win many early rounds in the 10-round contest as he constantly pressured Martin while pulling away to avoid any return fire. In the third round, he switched to southpaw and dropped Martin with a counter right hook.

The 23-year-old knockout artist looked to finish the fight, but the experienced Martin survived. By the fifth, Anderson slowed a bit, which allowed Martin to hurt him with several left hands.

Anderson adjusted by returning to his jab and increasing his output to the body, outlanding Martin in the later rounds. He retained his WBO International and WBC USA titles with scores of 98-91 and 99-90 from two judges.

"It felt great," Anderson said. "I had my team with me. I got my family with me. I got Toledo with me. They showed up and they're in the building. They were with me the entire 10 rounds. I heard them all the way through. I'm grateful for my opponent. He took the fight on short notice. He came and performed really good. I think we put on a hell of a show for Toledo.

"I wanted to go the distance. It was my first time. I just wanted to make sure that I could go the distance and especially be able to withstand power the whole 10 rounds. He had power until the last round, and I was happy to get the rounds in.

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"I think I took his best shots very well. I don't think there was a time in the fight where I looked unsteady or where I couldn't hold my own. Did feel like he got me with a good shot and stunned me? No. But do I feel like he got me with a good shot and made me aware? Yes, so I had to readjust and get back to the game plan."

Martin insisted he did what he could, having agreed to the bout less than two weeks ago.

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"I took the fight on 11 days' notice," Martin said. "I did the best I could. He's a real champion. He'll be making his way to the top soon. I'm proud of him.

"He's really good. He's a crafty boxer. Usually, when I catch somebody and hurt them, I can finish them. If they don't fall, usually I can follow up and put them away. But he is like a little middleweight. He is crafty. He was able to get out even when he was rocked. He was able to manoeuvre and get out the way. He's going to be a champion."

In his stateside debut, Montreal-based wrecking ball Arslanbek Makhmudov retained his NABF heavyweight crown with a second-round TKO against the previously unbeaten Raphael Akpejiori.

The two entered the contest with a combined record of 31-0, but Makhmudov's amateur experience paid dividends. The 34-year-old dropped Akpejiori with a flurry that was initiated by a right uppercut, a punch he landed frequently.

He dropped Akpejiori again in the final seconds of the opening stanza, but the Nigerian survived despite wobbling to his feet. After another knockdown in the second round, referee Wes Melton deemed Akpejiori unable to continue.

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