Carl Jammes Martin and his resolve will be tested by his next opponent.
According to the Philippine Government’s web-based newswire service, Philippine News Agency, Martin will defend his Philippine Boxing Federation (PBF) bantamweight crown against Renoel Pael on February 22, 2020 at the Mandaluyong High School gym.
Pael is a 29-year old boxer from Leyte with a professional record of 23-11-1 according to boxrec.com. 12 of his wins are by stoppages.
Pael, however, is currently on a bad skid, losing all his three bouts in 2019. Two of them, however, were fought in Japan against foes from the Land of the Rising Sun.
Overall, he’s lost seven of his last nine and 9 of his last 14 fights. That all happened in a span of just a little over four years starting December 2, 2015.
His last two wins, both happening in 2018, were against suspect opponents whose records are 8-11-0 and 5-3-1, respectively.
His other two wins during the losing streak doesn’t help either. Both happened in 2016 against opponents with records of 6-29-3 and 14-31-6.
On the other hand, Martin is coming off a third round stoppage victory against Philip Luis “The Destroyer” Cuerdo last December 21, 2019 at the Manila Arena.
The win is his 15th straight victory, 14th win via stoppage and allowed him to retain his Philippine Boxing Federation (PBF) Bantamweight belt.
This was Ifugao Boxing Stable star’s first defense of the PBF title which he initially won against Benezer Alolod on September 2019 by a 7th round TKO.
Aside from the PBF Bantamweight title, Martin is also the owner of the World Boxing Association (WBA) Asia Bantamweight and the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Oriental Youth Bantamweight titles.
He is also hailed by many as the second coming of Manny Pacquiao.
It is situations and opponents like these where one fighter has all the accolades and the other on a downward spiral that will test the favorite’s resolve.
Martin and his camp may have to take a hard look at this bout and not take it as a tune-up or sparring match nor view Pael as a sacrificial lamb.
Huge upsets in boxing are not uncommon, no matter how the odds are in favor of one boxer and Pael certainly has the tools to pull the upset.
Before his downward skid, he registered 12 wins in his first 13 fights, the only dent was a draw in his third fight.
Then after losing narrowly by split decision Narast Aienlengin in a World Boxing Council International Silver Fly Title bout held at Ramindra Lumpini Stadium , Bangkok on February 28, 2014, Pael racked up seven straight wins, the last of which happened on July 14, 2015.
Most of them, however, again came against suspect opponents who have more career losses than wins.
During this stretch, Pael recorded nine KO/TKOs. He was also never stopped in his career as all his losses came via decisions.
For his career, Martin only allowed one opponent, Jason Buenaobra, to go the distance and put the fight’s result at the hands of the judges.
It will be exciting to see how Martin will come into this fight and face a heavy underdog at a time Kobe Bryant dies.
As many know, Bryant’s success in basketball was predicated on his competitiveness, among others.
Accounts from testimonies of former teammates showed Kobe doesn’t cut corners no matter who the opponent is. He was even pictured to be gunning for a win against his fellow stars in an exhibition game intended to raise funds for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Will the “Wonder Boy” do a Kobe and still stamp his might on this suspect opponent or is there going to be a Philippine version of a Buster Douglas that ended the winning streak of a seemingly unbeatable Mike Tyson.
We shall see next month.
By ARMANDO M. BOLISLIS