Jared Anderson is still undefeated after the toughest night of his career.
The 23-year-old entered his fight with former IBF world heavyweight champion Charles Martin - who stepped in on 12 days' notice to replace Zhan Kossobutskiy - with a perfect 14-0 record.
‘Big Baby’ had finished all of his opponents and never been extended more than six rounds, but that all changed at Ohio’s Huntington Center on Saturday evening.
Things initially appeared to be going as normal for Anderson who dominated early and even scored a knockdown in round three.
After claiming he tripped, Martin cleared his head and got back into the fight.
In round five, he connected with a big left hand which forced Anderson to initiate a clinch in front of his hometown fans before Martin enjoyed more success in the following frame.
As the rounds progressed, Martin was told by his corner he is ‘one punch from being a champion’ but he was unable to find it and the fight ultimately went to the judges’ scorecards.
David DeJonge (99-90), Ben Rochester (99-90), and Mike Fitzgerald (99-91) all scored for the fight for Anderson who was impressed by his opponent’s ability to put on such a great performance despite the short-notice nature of their clash.
“I was very grateful for [Martin] taking the fight on short notice. He put on a hella performance and was hella good,” Anderson told ESPN after his first decision win.
“This was the first time [going to a decision]. I just wanted to make sure I had it in me to withstand power the whole ten rounds. He had power until the last round.”