Fighting for a world title is something that Frank Martin has always wanted. Wrapping a belt around his waist has consumed him at times, so much so that he would often wake up in the middle of the night, throw on his training gear, and begin shadow-boxing before wrapping up his arbitrary workout with a run.
Martin’s been putting in the work over the years, something that the WBC sanctioning body has noticed. As they say, good things come to those who wait and Martin believed that he waited long enough. With several names refusing to step up to the plate to face Shakur Stevenson for their vacant title, Martin was given a call.
The 28-year-old didn’t allow his phone to go to voicemail. He happily agreed to face Stevenson in mid-November. That is, until he was given the full details on the type of money he would ultimately be making.
Things weren’t adding up to Martin. Even with the chance to make a career-high payday, he declined. Stevenson (20-0, 10 KOs) felt betrayed. The former Olympic silver medalist would go on several platforms chastising Martin repeatedly. Every curse word you could think of was used to describe him.
The Detroit native isn’t loquacious. He mostly enjoys remaining quiet in the background. However, Stevenson’s public lambasting had gone on long enough without Martin saying a word. That officially changed.
“That’s some b!tch ass sh!t,” said Martin during a recent interview with Queens Of The Ring Boxing Talk. “That’s some hoe sh!t. We grown men.”
Stevenson, 26, has been dying to get his hands on an elite 135-pounder. Martin fit the mold. And while he looked a bit shaky in his last outing, a close decision victory over Artem Harutyunyan, Stevenson viewed him as one of the best 135-pound contenders on the planet.
Martin has always felt the same about the former two-division champ. But even with the reverence he has for his skills, Martin (18-0, 12 KOs) is vexed about Stevenson’s rant. More than anything, their disagreement was nothing more than conjecture centered around the financial portion of their deal. Martin revealed that Stevenson offered him a million-dollar payday but was merely hoping to proliferate that number just a tad.
All in all, there was no need, from Martin’s point of view, for Stevenson to go down the disrespectful road. Now, their rivalry went from respectful to rage-filled.
“At the end of the day, we could’ve easily made everything happen but the sh!t he talking, he made the sh!t personal. Calling another man a b!tch, I’m not cut like that.”
It’s more than just the derogatory words Stevenson chose to use. For the most part, Martin believes that both he and Stevenson are on the same team. Quietly, he sat back and watched as George Kambosos Jr., William Zepeda, and Vasiliy Lomachenko, all highly-ranked lightweight contenders, who just so happened to be white, turned Stevenson down. And while the former Olympian shook his head and called them names as well, Martin is convinced that Stevenson took things to another level with him, someone who shares the same skin color.
“You ain’t even bashing them other folks like that. We love to tear each other down.”