Lightweight contender Frank Martin [18-0] finally broke his silence following the breakdown of negotiations between himself and two-weight world champion Shakur Stevenson [20-0].
The unbeaten duo had been on course to square off against each other in Las Vegas, Nevada, on November 16, which would have coincided with the racing series Formula 1’s return to Vegas after an absence of forty-one years.
If Stevenson and Martin had proceeded, the pair would have been contesting the vacant WBC lightweight title, last held and defended by Devin Haney in May of this year, who edged a narrow unanimous decision against Vasyl Lomachenko.
Martin was not the primary choice from Top Rank to have in the opposite corner as Stevenson aims to become a three-weight world champion at the age of twenty-six. Following Haney’s relinquishment of his undisputed lightweight titles, Top Rank offered both Lomachenko and lightweight contender Isaac Cruz the opportunity to contest the vacant title per WBC rules. However, according to the WBC, both fighters rejected the opportunity to come against Stevenson.
Ultimately, this left Martin as the highest available contender, and despite Stevenson and Martin being represented by differing promotional entities and television networks, they tentatively agreed upon a provisional deal. Once contracts were sent from Top Rank to Premier Boxing Champions and Martin’s representatives, Top Rank was informed that Martin was no longer interested in facing Stevenson.
Stevenson, naturally upset that an anticipated fight had collapsed at the eleventh hour, accused Martin of ducking him.
Martin finally broke his silence on the matter with a simple post on social media stating that he ‘I ain’t duck shit….’
I Ain’t Duck Shit…— Frank Martin (@TheGhost_2016) September 11, 2023
Following the collapse of Stevenson-Martin, Edwin De Los Santos [16-1] is the highest available contender within the WBC ratings at the time of publication. It is also still being determined if Top Rank will attempt to resume negotiations to iron out a deal which is more favourable and acceptable on behalf of Martin.