Shakur Stevenson will fight for the vacant WBC lightweight title next as per an order by the sanctioning body.
Current champion, Devin Haney, has decided on moving up in weight and facing super-lightweight belt-holder, Regis Prograis, thus becoming champion in recess and leaving his title free for mandatory challenger, Stevenson, to compete for.
The man in the other corner was initially thought to be number one ranked Vasily Lomachenko, but WBC President, Mauricio Sulaiman, revealed both the Ukrainian and Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz turned down the opportunity.
It fell to fellow undefeated southpaw, Frank Martin, who accepted and has his team (PBC) entered into an agreed period of negotiation with Stevenson’s (Top Rank.)
Reporter Keith Idec has now revealed that both teams reached an agreement on the final day of talks, cancelling a scheduled purse bid and readying an announcement for the right.
It’s understood that Bob Arum’s Top Rank will stage the show via broadcast partner, ESPN. The date and location for the bout are unclear as of writing, but Arum has previously slated mid-November in Las Vegas for his elite charge.
A win over the less-experienced Martin will see Stevenson win world honours in a third weight class following success at both feather and super-featherweight. It’s the next step in a career that people are already predicting will be Hall of Fame worthy when all’s said and done.
Derrick James trained Martin will be hoping that’s him.
‘The Ghost’ will enter the ring against Stevenson a clear underdog, but with 12 stoppages from an 18-fight perfect record and a two-bout streak of beating undefeated fighters, he won’t need the backing of the bookies to believe he can cause the upset.