The WBC lightweight championship will be up for grabs before the end of 2023 when Shakur Stevenson battles Frank Martin in. The bout, which multiple reports state was agreed to by all parties involved, does not have a date or location officially announced, though either Nov. 16 in Las Vegas or Dec. 9 in New York are both in play, according to ESPN.
The WBC title is available after the sanctioning body moved former undisputed champion Devin Haney to “champion in recess” status as Haney moves up to super lightweight in pursuit of a title fight with Regis Prograis. Haney had formally requested to retain all four of his lightweight world championships despite his move.
The fight between Stevenson and Martin is a good one in a competitive lightweight division. At just 26 years old, Stevenson has already won world titles at featherweight and super featherweight and is viewed as an elite talent who may become one of the stars of the sport in the coming years.
Stevenson debuted at 135 pounds in April, dominating Shuichiro Yoshino for a sixth-round stoppage to advance his record to 20-0.
Martin has never fought for a world title but has been one of the hidden gems of the lightweight division in recent years with dominant wins over fringe contenders such as Jackson Marinez and Michel Rivera.
In Martin’s most recent outing, he struggled more than expected to edge out a narrow unanimous decision over unheralded Artem Harutyunyan to move to 18-0 as a professional. While Harutyunyan was surprisingly tricky, Martin was able to turn up the heat in the later rounds to secure the win in what was a WBC championship eliminator.