Vyacheslav "Czar" Glazkov and Charles Martin will fight for a vacant heavyweight world title on Jan. 16 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, adding a second heavyweight title bout to the Showtime-televised card.
Warriors Boxing, Martin's promoter, won an IBF purse bid on Friday afternoon in Springfield, New Jersey, to win the promotional rights to the bout. Warriors Boxing, with backing from Martin adviser Al Haymon, bid $1.24 million, easily topping a bid of $888,000 from Glazkov promoter Main Events.
Promoter Lou DiBella, who is putting on the Jan. 16 card headlined by heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder's defense against Artur Szpilka -- two other Haymon clients -- told ESPN.com that he made a deal with Warriors Boxing to add the fight to the show. DiBella also said he is finalizing details with Showtime.
Glazkov, as the higher-ranked contender, is entitled to 65 percent of the winning bid ($804,700), and Martin is entitled to the remaining 35 percent ($433,300). Both purses will be, by far, their biggest paydays.
"I am looking forward to getting back in the ring and finally getting my opportunity to fight for a world title. I want to thank everyone who helped me get to this place in my career," said Glazkov, who became the mandatory challenger for the belt with a disputed decision win against Steve Cunningham in March.
Glazkov, 31, who is from Ukraine but recently relocated to South Florida, was the mandatory challenger for Tyson Fury, who outpointed Wladimir Klitschko in an upset on Nov. 28 to win the lineal world title and three alphabet belts. But when Klitschko exercised his right to an immediate rematch it left Fury unable to make the mandatory defense against Glazkov.
Fury, who will make many millions of dollars more for fighting Klitschko again than he would have for a fight with Glazkov, declined the mandatory fight and was stripped by the IBF. That paved the way for contender Charles Martin (22-0-1, 20 KOs) the next leading available contender, to get the fight with Glazkov (21-0-1, 13 KOs).
"We are thrilled that Czar is getting his world title fight right away and in our own backyard," said Glazkov co-promoter Kathy Duva of Main Events, which is based in New Jersey. "The turnaround is quick, but both fighters will have the same amount of time to prepare so it's fair. On top of fighting for his first world title, Glazkov is going to get more money for this fight than we were offered for any other fight, and we won't be tied to any future options. This is a great deal for everyone involved."
Added Kirill Pchelnikov of Pushka Promotions, Glazkov's co-promoter, "It does not matter we didn't win the purse bid and it doesn't matter where the fight will be. Maybe next time we will be able to take Glazkov to fight in Russia when he is champion."
Martin, 29, of Carson, California, should already be in shape for the fight. He had been training to face 2012 U.S. Olympian Dominic Breazeale on Dec. 12, but when the opportunity to face Glazkov for the belt came up he pulled out a few days ahead of time.
"I'm happy Warriors won the bid because, obviously, we want to fight sooner than later," Mike Borao, Martin's manager, told ESPN.com. "The winner of the bid isn't as relevant as winning the fight but our side winning the bid helps us stage the fight quickly, which was the preference of Team Martin because he was already in camp for almost eight weeks getting ready for Breazeale."
Borao also said that for Martin to get a shot at a world title was especially meaningful in the wake of the May death of Michael King, his former promoter.
"This is really realizing Michael King's dream," Borao said. "This is everything Michael wanted. It's not only Charles getting this title shot; it's like Michael's too. Charles' career has Michael's fingerprints all over it and we couldn't have gotten here without Michael. I know Charles will win the fight for Michael."
DiBella said the addition of a second heavyweight title fight significantly beefs up the show.
"You have an American, Deontay Wilder, defending his heavyweight world title on the card and now you have another American heavyweight challenging for a vacant title on the card," DiBella said. "There hasn't been a heavyweight title fight in Brooklyn in 115 years and now there will be two on the same night. I think it's exciting."
Although neither Wilder nor the Glazkov-Martin winner will be recognized as the legitimate heavyweight champion -- that recognition goes to Fury -- the card will have the first heavyweight title bouts in Brooklyn 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.