With the NFL kicking off their 2023 season today and College Football underway, things have been quiet on the boxing front. Although there were no significant cards this week other than some club show type of cards, there was an announcement that came as a surprise and another that was more of an update to what was previously reported.
SHAKUR STEVENSON VS. FRANK MARTIN IS OFF, SO NOW WHAT?
Sucks, but also not shocking. I was more surprised a deal was reach in priniciple, to begin with.— Jake Donovan (@JakeNDaBox) September 9, 2023
Onto the next one for Shakur, who has already put on standby the ONE fighter that's been calling him out all year. 🇩🇴 https://t.co/gmY8yxnqTt
It was supposed to be a fight for the purists that would pit a multi-division champion knocking on the door of stardom against a rising young gunn looking to prove he has next. ESPN reported that Shakur Stevenson (20-0, 10 KOs) vs. Frank Martin (18-0, 12 KOs) was a done deal and that Top Rank was looking to host the fight in Las Vegas, NV, during the Formula 1 event that week. Fans were excited to see this matchup but were wondering, with all of the boxing politics, how this fight was made before going to a scheduled purse bid.
Between Mike Coppinger and Keith Idec, news came out that the fight was off, and it left everyone in a state of disappointment. According to Chris Mannix, Martin was expected to make a million dollars, which would have been by far his biggest payday. Stevenson immediately posted pictures of a duck as a quote tweet to the news. What happens now? Jake Donovan reported that Stevenson will now look to face Dominican contender Edwin De Los Santos (16-1, 14 KOs) on November 16. As far as Martin, it will be interesting to see the direction he goes as most of the top ten opponents either have fights or are with another promoter, which always makes things complex.
TEOFIMO LOPEZ IS NOW THE WBO SUPER JUNIOR WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPION
Unanimously 🏆🎯 https://t.co/4wCciSDGoS— Teofimo Lopez (@TeofimoLopez) September 10, 2023
ProBoxTV reported close to midnight that WBO junior welterweight champion Teofimo Lopez (19-1, 13 KOs)was unanimously voted to be classified as the division’s super champion. WBO’s in-house counsel Gustavo Olivieri, Esq. added, "One of the privileges of such distinction is that he (Lopez) has up to 18 months to fulfill the referenced obligation, not the ordinary 9-month period.” This was something that Lopez requested, and looking at his past comments, it was another way to make Arnold Barboza Jr. (28-0, 10 KOs) wait on his title shot. Top Rank was looking to make that fight for a while, but Lopez felt like he wouldn’t gain anything from fighting Barboza Jr. So with this new distinction, Lopez doesn’t have to face Barboza Jr. (who’s ranked #1) for up to 18 months. In the meantime, Barboza Jr. has an IBF title eliminator purse bid scheduled for the 19th of this month for a fight against Jose Ramirez (28-1, 18 KOs).
Lopez is coming off a massive win over Josh Taylor (19-1, 13 KOs) in June and is once again at the top of the mountain. There are some big fights for him on the horizon, so a fight in December may not be against a big name, but with his momentum, fans will tune in as he rises to the occasion when it matters most. As mentioned in the original article, a fight with Ryan Garcia could be a big one for December, a fight that pushes the needle. Regardless of how Garcia looked in April, he still has a massive fan base, and it would be a great way to round out the year. Whichever opponent he decides to take on, we should be hearing news of this soon.