Shakur Stevenson – Frank Martin Not Happening, ‘The Ghost’ Had Second Thoughts – SolSportHQ
By Craig Daly: The Shakur Stevenson vs. Frank ‘The Ghost’ Martin fight that had been scheduled for November 16th for the vacant 135-lb title is no longer happening.
According to Chris Mannix, ‘The Ghost’ Martin “No longer wanted it.” This obviously is a well-thought-out move on Martin & his management’s part. Martin’s management knows what they’re doing.
From Martin’s standpoint, it makes sense for him not to go through with the fight against Shakur (20-0, 10 KOs) because he had little of winning and could capture one of the other three soon-to-be fragmented belts.
Devin Haney is not expected to return to the lightweight division to reclaim his undisputed championship after his fight against WBC 140-lb champion Regis Prograis on December 9th. Haney will only return to the 135-lb division if he can get a massive fight against Tank Davis, and that’s not likely to happen soon.
Martin is ranked #3 WBA, putting him in a great position to challenge for that belt once it’s vacated by Haney or stripped from him due to inactivity. That’s a winnable belt for Martin against #1 Isaac Cruz or #2 William Zepeda.
Cruz will likely soon be out of the picture with the World Boxing Association, as he’s expected to face secondary WBA champion Gervonta Davis next, and he has no chance of winning that rematch.
Top Rank, the promoters for Shakur, had sent the contract to ‘The Ghost’ Martin but were informed that they were no longer interested. Stevenson has the kind of style that a lot of fighters want nothing to do with, and that’s not going to change until he becomes more marketable.
Bob Arum had planned to stage the contest in Las Vegas on November 16th to take advantage of the huge interest in the Formula 1 Grand Prix. Heavyweight contender Jared Anderson was going to be the co-feature.
With Martin now out of the picture for the Shakur fight, the World Boxing Council will ask the next ranked contender, #5 William Zepeda, to face Stevenson for the vacant WBC lightweight title. Zepeda is unlikely to take the fight with Shakur, as he’s shown no interest in facing him in the past.
If Zepeda chooses not to take the fight, the WBC will work their way down through this list:
6. Edwin De Los Santos
7. Jamaine Ortiz
8. Shuichiro Yoshino
9. Raymond Muratalla
10. George Kambosos
If it gets to Jamaine Ortiz, he’ll likely agree to the fight, as he’s fearless, and this is his best chance of getting another money fight after his loss to Vasily Lomachenko.
— Shakur Stevenson (@ShakurStevenson) September 9, 2023
Disappointing. Frank Martin was set to make in excess of $1 million for the fight. Deal was done. TR was informed today that Martin no longer wanted it. A big 135-pound title fight off the table. https://t.co/mD8DOIkQMD
— Chris Mannix (@SIChrisMannix) September 9, 2023
I don’t understand it. I guess we are the last breeds of champions!
What a heartache to those who love BOXING 🥊
— Teofimo Lopez (@TeofimoLopez) September 9, 2023