Charles Martin Stops Devin Vargas In Fourth Round on Ruiz-Ortiz Undercard

Charles Martin was a shot or two away in his last fight from headlining Sunday’s show.

Instead, the former IBF heavyweight champion was reduced to appearing well off television but made the most of the opportunity in a fourth-round knockout of Toledo’s Devin Vargas. A backlog of penalties forced referee Jerry Cantu to halt the contest at 1:59 of the fourth round in their heavyweight preliminary bout Sunday night at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.

The fight was the first for Martin since suffering a knockout loss to Luis Ortiz, who appears on the main card of Pay-Per-View (Sunday, 9:00 p.m. ET, Fox Sports PPV/Fite TV/PPV.com, $74.99) against former unified champion Andy Ruiz (34-2, 22KOs) in a 12-round WBC semifinal eliminator.

Martin was poised to get the assignment, having knocked Ortiz down twice and was ahead on all three scorecards before suffering two knockdowns en route to a sixth-round knockout on Jan. 1 in Hollywood, Florida. It was a bitter setback for the 36-year-old southpaw, who had won three fights in a row going into the fight and was potentially back on his way to title contention.

It’s back to the drawing board for Martin, who is at least back in the win column after his one-sided affair over Vargas (22-8, 9KOs). The fight, which aired on Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on the Fox YouTube channel, was one-sided on paper and played out as much in the ring. Vargas was as willing as ever, but was ultimately forced into the familiar role of opponent, fighting to fend off Martin while he, too, dealt with a cut over his right eye.

Martin applied pressure along the ropes, leaving Vargas unable to defend himself. That was what the referee detected, who stepped in to rescue the 40-year-old official from further punishment.

The victory is the first for Martin (29-3-1, 26KOs) since he knocked out Gerald Washington in the sixth round in February 2020, just before the pandemic. The Carson, California-based heavyweight is 6-3 (5KO) since capturing the IBF heavyweight title in a third-round injury stoppage of Vyacheslav Glazkov in January 2016. The reign was short-lived. , suffering a second-round knockout loss against Anthony. Joshua just three months later.

Also on the YouTube portion of the show, Anthony Garnica preserved his undefeated record following a six-round majority decision win over Juan Antonio Lopez.

Judges Sergio Caiz (59-55) and David Sullivan (59-55) scored the fight in favor of Garnica of Oakland (10-0-1, 5KOs), overruling judge Pam Hayashida (57-57) who scored the entertaining featherweight fight even . Garnica, a stablemate of Andy Ruiz who also guides his career, sank deep in the closing rounds, catching Lopez (17-11, 7KOs) with several clean right hands to fend off a rudimentary challenge from the Dallas native and win the hard he fought to win.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

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