MANILA – Unbeaten Carl Jammes Martin is optimistic about his return to the ring on Aug. 19 against Oscar Duge of Tanzania in a 10-round bantamweight fight at the Mandaluyong Sports Complex.

The boxer from Lagawe, Ifugao province has fully recovered from a rib injury that sidelined him for eight months.

“Napaka-importante po ng next fight ko (My next fight is very important),” the 24-year-old Martin said during the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Philippine Sports Commission conference hall inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex on Tuesday.

The young southpaw, who fought 56 times as an amateur, has an unblemished professional record of 21-0 with 17 knockouts with 10 of them inside three rounds.

“Pinag-sisikapan po namin sa training. Pinag-iingatan din namin ang kalaban. Pinag-aaralan namin pati ang mga adjustments na pwede gawin sa ring (We are training hard. We are also careful with our enemy. We study the adjustments we can make in the ring),” Martin said.

He was accompanied by his father, Abel, and brother, Japeth — both his trainers — in the weekly session presented by San Miguel Corporation, Philippine Sports Commission, MILO, Philippine Olympic Committee, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).

Counting on the support of former world champion Gerry Peñalosa and Sean Gibbons of the MP Promotions, Martin said if things go as planned, Gibbons might bring him to the US for further training.

Standing at 5-foot-3, Duge is three inches shorter than Martin. The 26-year-old Tazmanian Duge has an 11-5-2 record, his last defeat was in August 2000. He has never been knocked out.

“Wala pang KO ang kalaban. Yun ang target — kami ang unang maka-knockout sa kanya. Pero handa din naman kami sa mahabang fight (The opponent doesn’t have a KO yet. That’s the target — we are the first to knock him out. But we are also ready for a long fight),” said Japeth, also a boxer.

“Ready na po kami. Pero hindi po namin masasabi. Kung ma-knockout yung kalaban, mas maganda po talaga (We are ready. But we can’t say. If we knock out the opponent, it’s even better),” added Abel. (PNA)