Wednesday, October 04, 2023  |


Martin-Harutyunyan; Donaire-Santiago inked for Showtime double-header on July 15

Frank Martin - Photo by Sean Michael Ham-TGB Promotions
Fighters Network

It was announced on Friday that rising lightweights Frank Martin and Artem Harutyunyan would clash in a WBC eliminator, with Nonito Donaire and Alejandro Santiago clashing for the vacant WBC bantamweight title in the co-main event at The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on July 15.

The Premier Boxing Champions event will be shown on Showtime at 10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT.

Martin (17-0, 12 knockouts), rated No. 6 at lightweight by The Ring, won his first 11 fights and started working with unified welterweight titlist Errol Spence Jr. and his trainer Derrick James.

The leg-up has benefited the 28-year-old southpaw, who has gone from strength to strength, taking the unbeaten record of Jerry Perez (KO 7), stopping fringe contenders Romero Duno (TKO 4), Jackson Marinez (TKO 10) and, most recently, dominating Michel Rivera (UD 12).

Harutyunyan (12-0, 7 KOs) was a good amateur, winning bronze at the 2016 Olympics in Rio for his adopted country of Germany.

Since turning professional in 2017, the Armenian born fighter has beaten Islam Dumanov (MD 10), Samuel Molina (KO 5) and, most recently, Humberto Galindo (UD 10).

Donaire (42-7, 28 KOs), rated at No. 3 by The Ring at bantamweight, won world titles at 112, 118, 122 and 126. The big-punching Filipino scored impressive wins over the likes of Vic Darchinyan (TKO 5), Fernando Montiel (TKO 2), Toshiaki Nishioka (TKO 9) and Jorge Arce (KO 3).

In 2018 “The Filipino Flash” surprisingly dropped back down to bantamweight and took part in the WBSS. He beat Ryan Burnett (RTD 4) and late substitute Stephon Young (TKO 6) before giving Naoya Inoue all he could handle in a decision loss. He then picked up the WBC title by impressively knocking out Nordine Oubaali (KO 4). After one defense, the 40-year-old met Inoue in a rematch and was stopped in two-rounds.

Santiago (27-3-5, 14 KOs),The Ring’s No. 5-rated bantamweight, has overcome a couple of early setbacks to establish himself as a solid professional.

The 27-year-old Mexican gave then-IBF 115-pound titlist Jerwin Ancajas (D 12) all he could handle. Santiago has since given Gary Antonio Russell (L SD 10) a stern examination in late 2021 and had rebounded with three wins since.

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected].