Source: WBC orders Stevenson, Martin title fight

Boxing

Shakur Stevenson will have his chance to be a three-division world champion.

The WBC has ordered Stevenson and Frank Martin to fight for its vacant lightweight title, a source told ESPN’s Mark Kriegel on Saturday. There are ongoing discussions between Top Rank, which promotes Stevenson, and Martin, who is managed by Premier Boxing Champions. If the two sides are unable to reach an agreement, the bout will head to a purse bid, scheduled for Sept. 5.

The WBC lightweight belt was formerly held by undisputed champion Devin Haney, who is eyeing a fight against Regis Prograis at 140 pounds, according to ESPN’s Mike Coppinger. The WBC recently named Haney as its 135-pound “champion in recess,” opening the door for Stevenson and Martin to fight for the regular belt. Stevenson (20-0, 10 KOs) is ranked second by the WBC, while Martin (14-0, 10 KOs) is ranked fourth.

Stevenson is ninth in the ESPN men’s pound-for-pound ranking. In 2022, he became the unified junior lightweight champion when he beat Oscar Valdez in a lopsided unanimous decision. Stevenson was stripped of the belts after he failed to make weight for his September 2022 defense against Robson Conceicao, which was another wide decision victory for the New Jersey fighter.

Martin, who is trained by Derrick James, has been active in his attempt to make a push for a championship. He has won four bouts since the start of 2022. His latest victory was a unanimous decision over Artem Harutyunyan in July, when Martin scored a knockdown in the 12th round.

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