Home Boxing News Shakur Stevenson should have Frank Martin covered, could move up as high...

Shakur Stevenson should have Frank Martin covered, could move up as high as welterweight

Shakur Stevenson. Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

This week it was announced that former two-weight world champion Shakur ‘Fearless’ Stevenson 20-0 (10) would face Frank ‘The Ghost’ Martin 18-0 (12) for the vacant WBC lightweight title later this year.

The two dates and venues being floated for the fight are November 16 in Las Vegas and December 9 in New York City with the bout to be broadcast on ESPN.

The WBC belt became available after the Mexico-based sanctioning body granted full titleholder Devin ‘The Dream’ Haney 30-0 (15) champion-in-recess status as he pursues a bout against WBC junior welterweight champion Regis Prograis 29-1 (24).

Renowned trainer Andre Rozier believes the Stevenson-Martin bout is a good place marker while Haney sorts out his future and the division he wishes to campaign in.

“I think Frank is going to bring some goods to the table, but nonetheless, but Shakur has the tools to dictate the policy and I think that’s what he’ll do in that fight,” Rozier said to FightHype.

“He’ll dictate the policy to a smooth twelve unanimous decision.

“I think Frank is going to try and make him work, but once Shakur gets into gear and he starts feeling his flow and that rhythm hits, he’s just going to be boxing his way to victory.”

Rozier added he doesn’t see the fight being any sort of a whitewash for Stevenson, but rather that the 26-year-old southpaw from Newark, New Jersey will simply have the edge in the categories that count most.

“It’s just too much of everything that [Martin] would have to contend with and that will be his shortcoming,” Rozier said.

Stevenson won his first world title four years ago when he picked up the WBO featherweight crown. He quickly moved up in weight where he dethroned WBO champion Jamel 23-4 (11) Herring and wrested the WBC belt from Oscar Valdez 31-2 (23) in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

He failed to make weight in his first title defence against Robson Conceicao 17-2 (8) in Septmeber last year and immediately moved up to lightweight, where he defeated Shuichiro Yoshino 16-1 (12) in April.

At five-foot-seven and still filling out, Rozier says he could see Stevenson eventually climbing all the way to welterweight.

“If I would have to call it, I would say maybe 147. No further than that in that point in time,” Rozier said.

“Those guys [at 154] are really bringing it, even though he’s a skilled tactician, I think it would be enough. 147 is as high as he should go.”

As for a fight between Stevenson and Haney, Rozier sees it as an even matchup.

“Shakur and Devin, they’re both talented fighters. On any given night, one of them could be the winner,” Rozier said.

“Two talented fighters. When they do eventually fight each other – if they do – I’ll be sitting ringside and I’ll be as neutral as when you put your car in gear.”