The highly anticipated showdown between Shakur Stevenson and Frank Martin for the vacant WBC lightweight title has taken an unexpected turn, that has left fans and organizers thoroughly disappointed.
Initially, the bout appeared to be a done deal and a lucrative prospect for Martin, yet the following was tweeted out today.
"The Shakur Stevenson-Frank Martin fight for the vacant WBC lightweight title, planned for Nov. 16 in Las Vegas, is off, sources told ESPN. This comes days after WBC purse bid was cancelled after organization was notified by both sides that a deal was reached. Top Rank sent the contract over to Martin’s side and the following day was told that he was no longer interested in the fight, sources said," tweet Mike Coppinger of ESPN.com.
The abrupt cancellation was a shock, mainly because the promoters for each fighter had been believed to come to terms on a deal. This week it was even speculated that a November 16th fight date in Las Vegas, Nevada could land the fight.
"Disappointing. Frank Martin was set to make in excess of $1 million for the fight. The deal was done. TR was informed today that Martin no longer wanted it. A big 135-pound title fight off the table," tweeted Chris Mannix of SI.
The news leaves many confused with the most common question being asked - why? Some have speculated that maybe Martin might land a big-ticket fight with Gervonta Davis, but even then that wouldn't be for a world title, which this would have been for.
The question will be laid out for many months to come on what brought an unexpected twist from Frank Martin who had a change of heart and was no longer interested in the fight.
The disappointment lingers not only for fans but also for the fighters themselves, who were gearing up for a chance to claim the prestigious WBC lightweight title in what could have been a career-defining moment for both fighters.
As for Stevenson, the next fighters in the WBC rankings for him to challenge are as follows number-five William Zepeda, number-six Edwin De Los Santos, number-seven Jamaine Ortiz (who now has left the division), and Shuichiro Yoshino, who Stevenson beat to earn his number-one contender spot for the WBC lightweight title.