The Darkhorse of the Lightweight Division Returns to the Ring this Weekend

Frank “The Ghost” Martin is among the most talented fighters in one of the sport’s deepest divisions. Since teaming up with elite trainer Derrick James, Martin has become a real contender at 135lbs. He returns to the ring this weekend on Showtime and he will square off against fellow lightweight contender Jackson Marinez. Marinez is coming off of back to back losses against Rolando “Rolly” Romero and former IBF Lightweight Champion Richard Commey. Marinez actually saw his stock improve after his fight with Romero, as he boxed really well, and most people believed he did more than enough to receive a victory on the scorecards.

Frank Martin was last in action on New Year’s Day on the Luis Ortiz vs Charles Martin undercard on Fox. He picked up the fourth round TKO victory over Romero Duno, which improved his record to 15-0 with 11 knockouts. Since becoming a stablemate alongside the likes of Undisputed Junior Middleweight Champion Jermell Charlo and Unified Welterweight Champion Errol Spence Jr, Martin has gotten more notoriety and hype surrounding him. He always had the skills to potentially become a world class level fighter, but now he is getting the opportunity to show the rest of the boxing world just how talented he is.

The 27-year-old Martin is a southpaw who can be a stylistic nightmare for many of the top fighters in the lightweight division. His combination of boxing ability, hand speed, and punching power fit perfectly in the camp of Derrick James, and James has been able to play to the strengths of Martin as he helps him develop as a fighter. Derrick James has made it known to the public just how much he believes in Martin and how he sees world championship fights on the horizon for his young star.

“All these young guys … I mean, Lomachenko fought for a world title in his first (actually, second) pro fight,” said James, one of the world’s most respected trainers, who also works with Errol Spence Jr. “I’m not saying he’s ready for those guys yet, but you have to have goals and know what you want. It’s OK to say it. The kid that just fought Tank (Rolly Romero) didn’t have a lot of fights either. But if you want something, go ahead, and say it, whether you’re ready for it now or somewhere down the line.

“Frank didn’t have that long of an amateur career, but he did beat Vergil Ortiz in the finals of the National Golden Gloves. Even then Frank showed great athleticism, phenomenal hand speed and outstanding coachability. He wants to be great, and that’s what’s going to take him there. Some guys have talent, but you can’t tell them anything.”

PBC has a solid collection of talent at 135lbs. Most notable among their lightweight fighters is multi-time world champion and PPV star Gervonta Davis. Isaac Cruz, Rolly Romero and Jose “Rayo” Valenzuela are three potential opponents who I would love to see Martin in the ring with as he continues his upward trend. As long as he takes care of business this Saturday night, the future is bright for Frank Martin. He is not someone who the “casual boxing fan” would know a lot about yet, but in due time he will get the respect that he deserves. 

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Jack Kelly

Jack Kelly