NEW YORK -- It came with a whimper and not a bang, but Charles Martin claimed a vacant heavyweight world title by stopping injured Vyacheslav "Czar" Glazkov in the third round on Saturday night in a fight that proved nothing at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Little had happened through the first two rounds, although Martin appeared to have the advantage based on his punch output. In the third round, however, the right-handed Glazkov slipped to the canvas when his feet got tangled with the southpaw; Glazkov then fell down. Referee Earl Brown properly ruled it a slip, but Glazkov grimaced and appeared to hurt his right knee. When the fight resumed, Glazkov threw a punch and went down again without being hit in return. He dropped to the canvas, clearly in pain, because he knee buckled badly. He made it to his feet but could not go on. Brown stopped the fight at 1 minute, 10 seconds. The ringside doctor examined Glazkov in the ring and diagnosed him with a torn right ACL.
The 6-foot-5, 249½-pound Martin's size advantage -- about two inches and 31½ pounds heavier than Glazkov -- was evident right away as he tried to use his bulk to push Glazkov around.
But not much had happened before Glazkov suffered the injury and brought the fight to a very disappointing conclusion.
"It was meant to be," Martin said. "We had 12 rounds, so I was pacing myself. I was going to pick it up. I don't even know what he was doing. He was scared as f---. You could see it in his eyes.
"We were just going to get stronger as the fight went on."
Another heavyweight world title was on the line in the main event between Deontay Wilder and Artur Szpilka, but Martin-Glazkov was the first heavyweight title fight in Brooklyn in 115 years, since May 11, 1900, when James J. Jeffries knocked out James J. Corbett in the 23rd round of their scheduled 25-round fight to retain the world title in Coney Island.
Martin, who made a career-high $250,000 with the victory, won the IBF version of the title because it was stripped from lineal world champion Tyson Fury 10 days after he pulled a huge upset to end the 9½-year title reign of Wladimir Klitschko, Glazkov's Ukrainian countryman, on Nov. 28 but agreed to an immediate rematch rather than face the mandatory challenger, Glazkov.
Glazkov (21-1-1,13 KOs), 31, who is from Ukraine but relocated to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, last year, was a 2008 Olympic super heavyweight bronze medalist and had much more professional experience than Martin, having faced opponents such as Steve Cunningham, Tomasz Adamek and Malik Scott, but it turned out not to be of any help. All Glazkov has to show for the fight is a career-high purse of $524,141.
"This should have been my belt," Glazkov said. "I already had him figured out. I slipped and I felt a sharp pain in my right knee and I felt it give out. I'm very upset. I want a rematch when I recover."
Martin (23-0-1, 21 KOs), 29, who is from St. Louis and is based in Carson, California, won a world title in a quick ascent. He turned pro in November 2012 -- a product of the late Michael King's "Heavyweight Factory" -- and faced extremely soft competition until Saturday. But with the way the fight ended, although he has a world title, it is still unclear what Martin will be able to do against top heavyweights.
For the fight, Martin landed 26 of 105 punches (25 percent), according to CompuBox punch statistics, and Glazkov connected on 19 of 64 blows (30 percent).
Brooklyn heavyweight Adam Kownacki (13-0, 10 KOs), the overwhelming fan favorite of the large Polish crowd, laid a sustained beating on Danny Kelly (9-2-1, 8 KOs), of Washington, D.C., to win a lopsided eight-round decision: 80-72, 80-72 and 79-73. The 253-pound Kownacki landed right uppercuts with abandon and numerous clean head shots in an action fight, but Kelly, 231 pounds, sopped them all up and kept coming at him, although with little success.
Chicago's Mike Lee (16-0, 10 KOs), the Notre Dame graduate and Subway sandwich restaurant pitchman, blew out Joseph Gardner (11-9-1, 1 KO), dropping him three times in a third-round knockout victory in their cruiserweight fight (contracted at 178 pounds). Lee knocked his opponent down twice in the second round, including with a right hand on the chin just before the round ended. Lee finished Gardner in the third round, dropping him again with a barrage of punches; referee Tony Chiarantano waved off the fight without a count at 43 seconds.
Brooklyn junior welterweight Julian Sosa (4-0-1, 2 KOs), with a raucous cheering section, hammered overmatched Bryan Timmons (3-7, 3 KOs) in a second-round knockout victory. Sosa took it to Timmons immediately and never let up. He dropped him to his knees with a left hook in the second round and then finished him moments later when he landed a three-punch combination to drop him again, forcing referee Benjy Esteves Jr. to wave off the fight without a count at 1 minute, 48 seconds.
Light heavyweight Carlos Gongora (4-0, 3 KOs), of Brooklyn, overpowered Derrick Adams (1-1-1, 1 KO), of Edmond, Oklahoma, dropping him three times in an easy fourth-round knockout victory. Gongora dropped Adams late in the second round and twice more in the fourth round before referee Shada Murdaugh waved it off at 1 minute, 58 seconds.
Middleweight Botirsher Obidov (4-0-1, 1 KO), who is from Uzbekistan and fights out of Kissimmee, Florida, scored a tight unanimous decision against Florida-based 18-year-old Ukrainian Ramil Gadzhiev (1-1, 1 KOs). Obidov won 39-37 on all three scorecards.
Brooklyn-based welterweight prospect Ivan Golub (10-0, 8 KOs), a former standout amateur from Ukraine who went 270-32, crushed Juan Rodriguez Jr. (12-4, 5 KOs), of Union City, New Jersey, in a first-round knockout victory. Golub dropped Rodriguez in the final minute of the round and then finished him moments later when he dropped even harder with a left hand. Referee Esteves immediately waved off the fight at 2 minutes, 41 seconds.
Polish middleweight Maciec Sulecki (22-0, 7 KOs) took apart Chicago's Derrick Findley (22-18-1, 14 KOs) until referee Murdaugh had seen enough and stopped the fight at 1 minute, 29 seconds in the seventh round of their scheduled 10-rounder.