Shakur Stevenson and Frank Martin have agreed to a deal for a lightweight fight that will likely take place on Nov. 16 in Las Vegas or Dec. 9 in New York, sources told ESPN.
The deal came hours before the rights to the fight were scheduled to be auctioned off at a purse bid. The WBC last month ordered Stevenson and Martin to vie for its vacant title at 135 pounds.
Devin Haney, the undisputed lightweight champion, is slated to move up to 140 pounds for a fight with Regis Prograis later this year and was thus named the WBC’s champion in recess. Stevenson is promoted by Top Rank and Martin is aligned with PBC, which has a deal with Showtime.
The Stevenson-Martin fight will be televised on ESPN as a main event days before the debut of the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Vegas or following the presentation of the Heisman Trophy in New York, sources said.
Stevenson (20-0, 10 KOs) is one of the fastest-rising stars in boxing. The 26-year-old is ESPN’s No. 9 pound-for-pound boxer (and No. 4 lightweight). The Newark, New Jersey, native has won titles at 126 and 130 pounds and will now look to do the same in a third weight class.
Martin (18-0, 12 KOs) is untested but is arguably Stevenson’s toughest test yet. Guided by ESPN’s 2022 Trainer of the Year Derrick James, Martin is coming off a close decision win over Artem Harutyunyan, whom he dropped in Round 12 of their July fight.
Prior to that, Martin outpointed Michel Rivera, but the 28-year-old will now step up to a fight with one of boxing’s best talents.
Stevenson, a southpaw who is perhaps the sport’s best defensive fighter, scored a sixth-round stoppage of Shuichiro Yoshino in April in his lightweight debut.