The first major boxing card of 2022 sees the heavyweight challengers take centre stage in Florida. In the Main Event, former IBF champion Charles Martin takes on two-time title challenger Luis Ortiz with both harbouring ambitions of once again fighting for one of the most sought-after prizes in world sport.

The winner of this one is expected to be named IBF mandatory challenger to recently crowned champion Oleksandr Usyk, whilst the other could well fade into obscurity. There are also another four heavyweight clashes elsewhere on the card that should see some explosive action.

We review the best boxing odds ahead of the fight and offer a full preview for the clash below.

Third Time’s a Charm for Ortiz?

 Veteran Cuban Luis Ortiz has been long since established as one of the ‘Boogey Men’ in heavyweight boxing with 27 career KOs amongst his 32 career wins. At the age of 42, many have suggested ‘King Kong’ has missed his chance to reign in the division, but despite this, he has just two career losses, both coming via KO/TKO against Deontay Wilder.

Since his second loss to Wilder back in November 2019, the Cuban has fought just once, landing a KO win against the well-respected Alexander Flores. He did have moments against Wilder that should serve as encouragement that he still has something to offer in this division, at times edging the contest with his tricky southpaw style.

The question that has always loomed around Ortiz is whether he has beaten enough top-level competition to be considered amongst the best heavyweights around and fighting a former champion should do it no harm in making the case.

Although the older of the two men, he is also the more experienced and is currently a 1/4 favourite to pick up the win.

Martin’s chance to make an impression

Although Charles Martin’s route to the IBF heavyweight title was somewhat fortuitous, and the reign itself abruptly ended by Anthony Joshua, the achievement itself is something that nobody can take away from the veteran American.

Similarly, to Ortiz, Martin lines up in a southpaw stance and likes to land big left hands when the opportunity to presents itself. It looks like his best chance in this one is to turn into an old-fashioned brawl, rather than a boxing match, given the low-level competition that Martin has overseen since the loss to Joshua.

Nevertheless, this is a big opportunity for Martin to put himself within one win of becoming a two-time heavyweight and would arguably be the biggest win of his career thus far given that Ortiz is an experienced and well-respected operator.

Martin is currently the 3/1 betting underdog however and will need to land a considerable surprise if he is to win this one.