Frank Martin feels ‘overlooked’ prior to his career-defining bout against Michel Rivera

Frank Martin feels ‘overlooked’ prior to his career-defining bout against Michel Rivera

Frank Martin only desires his due recognition.

The rising lightweight contender is aware that this is the bout that can push him to the level of competition where he believes he belongs.

The 27-year-old native of Indianapolis, who entered the sport later than most of his peers, is 16-0 with 12 knockouts and has moved into the division’s top 10 with his most recent victory in July. However, in one of boxing’s most competitive weight classes, he will need to pass more difficult tests before he can face the elite fighters he seeks.

Martin seized the opportunity and will face fellow unbeaten challenger Michel Rivera in a 12-round WBA lightweight title eliminator on Saturday night at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas (10 p.m., Showtime). Martin is ranked tenth by the WBA, while Rivera is ranked second.

“I suppose I’m overlooked. I began late, and I began fighting late,” Martin told The Post before to the match. “I feel like, sure, I’ve been overlooked or whatever. But I will make amends for everything. I must accept these types of confrontations. That will cause me to leap over the curb. However, there are still some individuals who do not recognize me, therefore I must continue performing these events in a great manner. I must continue doing what I do, and eventually, everyone will notice me. However, there are still some individuals sleeping at this time.”

Rivera, at age 24 and with a record of 24-0, has emerged as one of the division’s fastest-rising up-and-comers, moving up the division faster than Martin, who is older and has fewer professional bouts. Martin was praised for pursuing and accepting the matchup, indicating a genuine aim to advance his career to a higher level of ambition.

 

At the top of the division, 24-year-old Devin Haney is the indisputable champion, while 24-year-old Ryan Garcia and 28-year-old Gervonta Davis are two of the sport’s most electric and popular players. In addition, Shakur Stevenson, a 25-year-old two-division champion, has just stepped up and entered the weight class.

With a victory, Martin’s opponent, Rivera, will immediately enter that conversation. If Rivera wants to be a part of this elite group, the moment is now, and this is the opponent who can get him there.

Martin said, “Absolutely,” when asked if he believes he is on par with the aforementioned fighters. “I wouldn’t even be in this fight if I didn’t believe I was on that level. This conflict brings me to the brink; I wouldn’t even be trying to reach this point if I weren’t prepared.”

Martin will not significantly alter as he becomes more competitive. He has given the necessary performances, but he has not received the necessary attention or challenges to merit the ensuing acclaim.

Perhaps it’s fitting, then, that he’s been dubbed “The Ghost” and is currently haunting his toughest victim to date.

Rivera stated, “I feel like I’ve been doing what I’m meant to do in these battles.” “If I’m not knocking the person out, I’m brutally hitting him. I feel like I’ve just got to keep winning. The caliber of opponents will continue to rise, and I must continue to put on the same overpowering performances against these good, well-known opponents, some of whom may be more well-known than myself.

“That’s my road, I’ve got to battle these guys that everybody knows, I’ve got to push them out of the way, and then they’ll realize, ‘Alright, he’s a true dog.’ Therefore, I must continue doing it. I’ve got to keep it going.”

 

»Frank Martin feels ‘overlooked’ prior to his career-defining bout against Michel Rivera«

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