In April, Martyn Ford was scheduled to compete against Sajjad Gharibi, also known as the Iranian Hulk. They were supposed to compete at The O2 stadium in London. However, Ford abruptly canceled the fight and initially offered no explanation.
In the days following the event it came out that Ford was concerned for Gharibi’s mental state after seeing him go on Iranian tv and cry while discussing how his parents disowned him.
Martyn Ford felt compelled to back out of his battle with Gharibi after seeing that fateful interview.
As a result, the fight was called off. Ford has now claimed that he felt awful about continuing with the lucrative match after seeing his opponent in such poor shape.
Ford spoke during an interview on the Disruptors podcast with Rob Moore:
“I said to the promoters not to put me face-to-face with him until we fight. Because I’m going to fight and I don’t want to do that in a gym or whatever.”
“So they put us face-to-face and it was a c***-up on the promotional side if I’m honest. It should never have happened, it was the wrong place, the wrong time, the wrong environment with no security and it was just stupid.”
“Then the second face-off happened where he tried to take me down and that for me was when I started to become more concerned about the damage that would be done to him. It was very obvious and clear that there was never going to be a fair fight.”
“After that, we were supposed to do a press conference and I saw him and he was crying, he was broke and he didn’t want to go out, or fight, he didn’t want to do anything.”
“He was bad. He then put a post out on social media that he took down a few hours later on his stories saying that he wanted to kill himself.”
After that confrontation, the match seemed hopeless when the two decided to postpone the date by three weeks. Ford asserts that there were concerns over the event’s financing. However, he was ultimately worried about Gharibi.
“There was issues with payment with the organization, which was neither here nor there. So we’ve got a combination of four or five things that have happened.”
“Now after all of this has happened, he still wants to fight. But he seems to think we can arrange a fight that wouldn’t necessarily be as real as a real fight.”
“So he comes to terms that something like that isn’t going to happen, then his management were being very fishy, to say the least. We get back to the UK, I watched all the videos, he had an interview on TV where he cried.”
“He got hammered on social media, his parents came out and disowned him so I phoned up the organization and said ‘I can’t fight this guy’.”
“I don’t want to be responsible for this kid being bullied and taking his own life because that’s the only way it would have ended.”
Ultimately Ford backed out of the Boxstar card – and the entire card fell apart being postponed indefinitely and with no headline match to boast of.