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Charles Martin to fight Gerald Washington on Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury 2 undercard

The pay-per-view undercard for the rematch between heavyweight world titlist Deontay Wilder and lineal champion Tyson Fury will include a heavyweight eliminator and a world title bout.

Former heavyweight world titlist Charles Martin will take on former world title challenger Gerald Washington in a title eliminator in the co-feature and junior featherweight world titlist Emanuel Navarrete will defend his belt against Jeo Tupas Santisima, Top Rank and Premier Boxing Champions made official on Thursday.

The Wilder-Fury 2 card will take place Feb. 22 (ESPN-Fox PPV, 9 p.m.) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Initially, Top Rank and PBC planned on having only two bouts on the pay-per-view telecast in addition to the main event rather than the traditional three. But they had a change of heart and also added a fourth fight to the telecast, a 10-rounder between PBC junior middleweight Sebastian Fundora and Top Rank's Daniel Lewis, a 2016 Australian Olympian, that will open the pay-per-view broadcast.

St. Louis native Martin (27-2-1, 24 KOs), a 33-year-old southpaw fighting out of Las Vegas, lost his heavyweight world title by second-round knockout to Anthony Joshua in 2016. He has won two fights in a row since a 10-round decision loss to contender Adam Kownacki in September 2018.

"It is great to be back on the big stage," Martin said. "Wilder versus Fury II is the biggest heavyweight fight in a long time and it's great to be on the PPV. Feb. 22 will get me one step closer to my goal of becoming two-time heavyweight champion. Gerald Washington is standing in my way, so it's my job to go right through him toward my ultimate goal."

Washington (20-3-1, 13 KOs), 37, of Vallejo, California, is 2-3 in his last five fights with knockout losses to Wilder in a world title bout, Jarrell "Big Baby" Miller and Kownacki, but he is coming off an eighth-round knockout of Robert Helenius in July.

"This title eliminator is a very big opportunity for me and I'm going to do everything in my power to win on Feb. 22," Washington said. "I have the right team behind me and the right mindset. I've known Martin my whole career and we even spent some time working together in the ring. I'm going to be at my best and I expect the same from him. It's an honor to be a part of an event like this. Deontay and Tyson are both characters and I'm glad I can be a part of what's going to be a great night of boxing."

Martin-Washington will put the winner a step close to becoming one of three-belt unified titleholder Joshua's mandatory challengers.

"The Mexican Iron Man" Navarrete (30-1, 26 KOs), 25, of Mexico, is the busiest current world titlist in boxing. He will be making his fifth defense in just nine months.

"I am motivated to make my fifth defense in less than a year and especially because I'm proud to be part of a historic card headlined by Wilder vs. Fury II," Navarrete said. "This is a great opportunity to put on an exhibition for the fans and showcase my talent once again. I'm very grateful to my promoters, Bob Arum and Fernando Beltran, for giving me these opportunities."

Santisima (19-2, 16 KOs), 23, of the Philippines, a pro since 2013, is unbeaten since starting his career 2-2. He has fought all of his bouts in his home country and has yet to face a recognizable opponent, so he will be taking a major step up in competition against Navarrete.

"I really appreciate this opportunity, as this has been my dream since I was a kid," Santisima said. "For this fight, I will train and prepare to become the new champion. I don't feel any pressure. I will just do my best on fight night to show the world who I am. I heard and read the news that this fight is a mismatch, but I will do my best to give a great fight."

At 6-foot-6, Fundora (13-0-1, 9 KOs), 22, of Coachella, California, is huge for the 154-pound division, hence his nickname of "Towering Inferno." He is coming off a split draw with Jamontay Clark on Aug. 31.

Lewis (6-0, 4 KOs), 26, turned pro last March and will be boxing in the United States for the second time.

Wilder (42-0-1, 41 KOs), 34, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs), 31, of England, meet in the highly anticipated main event, which is a rematch of their memorable draw from Dec. 1, 2018, at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Preliminary bouts

Top Rank and PBC will also each have three preliminary bouts apiece on the card.

Although they have not been formally announced, the three Top Rank fights are welterweight Amir Imam (22-2, 19 KOs), 29, a former junior welterweight world title challenger from Albany, New York, versus Javier Molina (21-2, 9 KOs), 30, of Norwalk, California, in a 10-round bout; junior lightweight prospect Gabriel Flores Jr. (16-0, 6 KOs), 19, of Stockton, California, versus Matt Conway (17-1, 7 KOs), 24, of Pittsburgh, in an eight-rounder; and featherweight Isaac Lowe (19-0-3, 6 KOs), 26, of England, facing an opponent to be determined in an eight- or 10-rounder. Lowe is a stablemate of Fury and will be appearing on his third consecutive Fury undercard.

The PBC preliminary bouts are welterweight Lindolfo Delgado (11-0, 11 KOs), 25, a 2016 Mexican Olympian, versus Armenia native Petros Ananyan (14-2-2, 7 KOs), 31, in a 10-rounder; lightweight Rolando Romero (10-0, 9 KOs), 24, of Las Vegas, against Latvia native Arturs Ahmetovs (5-0, 2 KOs), 30, in an eight-rounder; and welterweight Vito Mielnicki Jr. (4-0, 3 KOs), 17, of Roseland, New Jersey, squaring off against Stephen Dailey (1-1-1, 0 KOs), 23, of Parkersburg West Virginia, in a four-rounder. Some preliminary bouts will be televised on Fox Sports 1 and an ESPN platform in a pre-pay-per-view telecast.