Monday, February 06, 2023  |


Frank Martin is putting the lightweight division on blast this Saturday on Showtime

Frank Martin - Photo by Sean Michael Ham-TGB Promotions

Frank Martin is trying to defy his nickname “The Ghost.” The undefeated lightweight southpaw prospect is trying to make himself more tangible in the 135-pound class. The 27-year-old was raised on the streets of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Detroit, Michigan, where the early stages of his fistic career developed.

Martin (15-0, 11 knockouts) knows the boxing community better wake up and see who “The Ghost” is.

He’ll get the chance to prove his skills this Saturday when he takes on late replacement Jackson Marinez in a 10-round fight as part of a tripleheader featuring WBC featherweight titlist Mark Magsayo’s first defense against unbeaten Rey Vargas on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING (9PM ET/6PM PT) from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

Trained by Derrick James, Martin feels 2022 can be a big year for him, following his New Year’s Day victory over Romero Duno. Marinez (19-2, 7 KOs) has lost his last two, though those defeats came against Rolando “Rolly” Romero in August 2020 by unanimous decision and to former IBF lightweight titleholder Richard Commey on February 13, 2021, losing by fourth-round knockout. Marinez has not fought since.

“I’m looking to establish myself and this will be the third time on TV and I think people are getting to know who I am,” said Martin, who started boxing at the relatively late age of 18. “I wanted to fight when I was young, but my mom (Erica) wouldn’t let me, so I played football and wrestled. When I first told my mom I wanted to box, I was 11 or 12 and she wasn’t for it. There was no pestering my mom about it, but I was always fighting as a kid outside of boxing. My mom wanted me to do something else, because I was at that age when I was fighting in the streets.

“My mom comes to the fights now. But she closes her eyes when I fight. She’s good now.”

Martin found out early that he liked to fight. He fought everywhere. School. Parties. In the streets.

An adrenaline rush would emerge, and his fists did the rest.

“Every time I fought, I won, and when me and my friends were young, we used to slap box and I was always good at it,” Martin said.

Martin’s goal is to graduate this year to be considered for lightweight world champion Devin Haney, or contenders Teofimo Lopez, Vasiliy Lomachenko, Tank Davis or George Kambosos Jr.

“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 (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.”

Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter who has been working for Ring Magazine/ since October 1997 and is the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be followed on twitter @JSantoliquito.


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