Who Will Reign Supreme in Stevenson vs. Martin Showdown?

September 6, 2023
From: Spartacus

The countdown has begun for one of the most highly anticipated boxing showdowns of the year—the vacant WBC Lightweight Title clash between Shakur Stevenson and Frank “The Ghost” Martin. This blockbuster bout, set to light up either Las Vegas or New York on November 16th or December 9th, has fans of the sweet science chomping at the bit. But the real question on everyone’s lips is simple: Who will emerge victorious to claim the coveted belt?

Both fighters come to the ring with unblemished records that would make any pugilist green with envy. Shakur Stevenson, an Olympic silver medalist and two-division world champion, has a flawless 20-0 record with 10 KOs. Frank Martin, a powerhouse in his own right, is also unbeaten with an 18-0 record, out of which 12 were knockouts. Even ESPN couldn’t keep its excitement bottled up, with reporter Mike Coppinger confirming the upcoming bout’s location based on the chosen date.

The implications of this fight extend beyond just another win or loss column. For Shakur Stevenson, the stakes are even higher. He has his sights set on winning a third division world title, using the WBC belt as a stepping stone to lure WBA ‘regular’ champion Gervonta Davis for a future bout. Yet, Stevenson’s grand plans might not pan out as seamlessly as he thinks. Despite the allure of potentially lucrative bouts at the light welterweight division against high-profile fighters like Teofimo Lopez, Subriel Matias, Ryan Garcia, Gary Antuanne Russell, and Devin Haney, Stevenson has been reticent to move up to 140 lbs. Such hesitancy could cost him dearly, turning the 135-lb division into a career dead end he can’t escape from.

On the flip side, Frank “The Ghost” Martin is looking to seal his reputation as a force to be reckoned with. While his recent performance against Artem Harutyunyan was less than stellar—barely eking out a unanimous decision—the Ghost shone like a supernova against the previously unbeaten Michel Rivera. Should Martin bring that same level of ferocity and precision into the Stevenson fight, the night could turn into a long ordeal for Shakur.

Devin Haney, the erstwhile holder of the WBC Lightweight Title, left a vacuum that Shakur hopes to fill. Haney made a strategic exit to the light welterweight division, subsequently receiving the rather flattering ‘Champion in Recess’ tag from WBC. Many speculate that Haney’s divisional move was a calculated decision to sidestep Stevenson, whom he possibly considers a significant threat.

Stevenson, known for his near-impervious defensive play, is quite the slippery fish in the ring. His capacity to fight at range combined with his agility makes it exceedingly difficult for his opponents to score. But let’s not discount Martin’s knockout power. The Ghost can be a wrecking ball if he manages to land a few solid punches. He will have to rely on astute footwork and cut off the ring to negate Stevenson’s defensive manoeuvres effectively. Shakur’s penchant for a pull-back move to dodge strikes is a tactic Martin should anticipate and counter, possibly by focusing his offensive on body shots.

Stevenson has received flak in the past for his defensive stance, even earning less-than-flattering comparisons to Guillermo Rigondeaux from his own promoter, Bob Arum. In contrast, Rigondeaux at least held his ground instead of scurrying around the ring. To make this contest entertaining, Stevenson will have to do more than just dodge and weave; he’ll need to engage, keeping the audience and the judges on the edge of their seats.

In conclusion, this upcoming bout between Shakur Stevenson and Frank Martin isn’t just another championship fight—it’s a crossroads for both fighters. Stevenson eyes the WBC title as a springboard to entice bigger fish like Gervonta Davis, although that could be a futile exercise if he remains confined to the 135-lb weight class. Martin seeks to reassert his status as a heavyweight contender, using Stevenson as his proving ground.

Can Stevenson’s slick defensive style prevail over Martin’s brute force? Or will the Ghost materialise in the form of a relentless powerhouse, haunting Stevenson throughout the match? The stage is set, the fighters are ready, and soon, all will be decided in either the glitz of Las Vegas or the grandeur of New York. Get ready for a bout that promises to be as complex and thrilling as the sweet science itself.

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