Undefeated lightweight star Frank Martin is aiming to continue his rise through the ranks of top-level boxing when he faces Artem Harutyunyan in a mouthwatering bout in Las Vegas this weekend, and we've got everything you need to know ahead of the showdown.
Southpaw Martin has long been tipped as a future world champion and he is 1/12 to defeat 7/1 shot Harutyunyan at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Martin is looking to build on last December's impressive win over the previously unbeaten Michel Rivera, by a unanimous points decision.
His opponent Harutyunyan, born in Armenia but an Olympic bronze-medallist representing Germany in 2016, is yet to taste defeat as a professional so he should provide another serious test of Martin's credentials.
Frank Martin v Artem Harutyunyan: Fight Preview
Frank Martin v Artem Harutyunyan: All You Need To Know
Frank Martin v Artem Harutyunyan: Fighter Profiles
Frank Martin v Artem Harutyunyan: Tale of the Tape
|What||Frank Martin v Artem Harutyunyan|
|Where||The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Las Vegas|
|When||Approximately 05:00 BST, Sunday 16th July|
|Odds||Frank Martin 1/12, Artem Harutyunyan 7/1|
The lightweight division is currently in a state of flux as undisputed champion Devin Haney is rumoured to be contemplating a move to light-welterweight.
If Haney were to go up to 140lbs, the likes of Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, Shakur Stevenson and Vasiliy Lomachenko would attempt to establish themselves as the new ruler of the weight class.
However, Frank Martin (17-0, 12 KOs) may be the dark horse of the division.
In 2022, the 28-year-old went from prospect to contender with wins over Romero Duno, Jackson Marinez and Michel Rivera. Of the trio of victories, the one over Rivera was the most impressive.
Martin’s Dominican rival had managed to raise his profile through the combination of a highlight-reel knockout and maximising a slight resemblance to a miniature version of a young Muhammad Ali.
Observers were starting to take notice. The bout was seen as a pick ‘em beforehand, but it turned out to be anything but.
Martin was dominant from first bell to last, punctuating the performance with a knockdown in the seventh round, en route to a wide unanimous decision victory.
Martin’s performance established him as a potential threat to anyone at 135lbs.
This weekend, ‘The Ghost’ has the opportunity to get one step closer to a clash with the marquee names of the division, as he takes on Artem Harutyunyan, at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
The fight acts as a WBC eliminator. Shakur Stevenson is currently the sanctioning body’s mandatory challenger having defeated Shuichiro Yoshino, in April, to earn that status.
If Haney does move up, the winner of Martin (1/12) and Harutyunyan (7/1) would likely be called to face Stevenson for the vacant title.
This is the opportunity Harutyunyan (12-0, 7 KOs) has been waiting for.
The Armenia-born German had a distinguished amateur career, which culminated in a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Despite his success in the unpaid ranks, the 32-year-old has made slow progress as a professional. Harutyunyan has only fought 12 times in five-and-a-half years, and has found meaningful opponents hard to come by. On Sunday morning, that will change.
The Olympian is well-schooled and has a crowd-pleasing style. He forces the pace, mixes shots well to both head and body, while utilising lateral movement. However, his aggression can leave him vulnerable.
In 2021, ‘The Original’ faced, then-unbeaten, Samuel Molina, in his biggest fight to date. The German stopped his opponent in the fifth round, but prior to the knockout, Molina caught Harutyunyan with a left hook which hurt him.
Against Martin, such mistakes could be costly. Under the tutelage of, highly-regarded, Derrick James, the southpaw has developed into a well-rounded fighter.
‘The Ghost’ judges distance impeccably, managing to be out of range of his opponent’s punches, yet close enough to counter. If Harutyunyan is over-zealous offensively, he will likely be punished.
Despite being the odds-on favourite, Martin has refused to allow complacency to creep in. Victory may lead ‘The Ghost’ to the verge of the big bouts he craves, but he knows the same is true for Harutyunyan.
The Indianapolis fighter is adamant that he will not allow the chance to slip through his fingers. “I’m expecting a guy who [is] hungry for an opportunity to fight some of the top guys,” Martin told Boxing News.
“I can’t let him get in the way of what I’ve got going on, so I definitely plan on coming out victorious.”
Frank Martin's WBC lightweight title eliminator against Artem Harutyunyan takes place on Saturday 15th July in the USA, although the main event will start in the early hours of Sunday 16th July for fight fans in the UK and Ireland.
The main card starts at 21:30 Eastern Time on Saturday 15th July, which is 02:30 BST on Sunday 16th July.
The ringwalk for Martin v Harutyunyan is estimated to take place at 05:00 BST on Sunday.
The fight is being held inside The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in the USA.
The fight is being shown live by Showtime in the USA, but no broadcaster has yet been confirmed in the UK.
There are no belts on the line when Frank Martin faces Artem Harutyunyan in Las Vegas but the fight is a WBC lightweight title eliminator so it could be a significant night for Martin's hopes of landing a world title.
It’s not if Frank Martin fights for a world title, it’s when.
Under the tutelage of arguably the best trainer in the world right now, Derrick James, the career of Martin has taken off in a short space of time.
Finding weaknesses in his game is difficult and, fight after fight, they will become fewer still, while his strengths will become greater and stronger.
The Detroit southpaw is knocking at a door where Tank Davis, Devin Haney and Shakur Stevenson reside. You bet they can hear it, too.
While Martin’s profile means he’s not on everyone’s lips his talent makes him the biggest threat to the household names at lightweight.
What we are witnessing is only the beginning of a very special career and sooner or later the above names will have to throw down with him or walk away.
Frank Martin is going all the way to the top and he is only getting started.
|Good counter puncher||Open to right hands|
|Superb boxing IQ||Can be caught down the middle|
|Reflexes||Can wait too long to throw shots|
|Power in both hands||Open to straight body shots|
Artem Harutyunyan will know exactly what level he is at in boxing after facing Frank Martin on Sunday morning.
Jumping out of his comfort zone in Germany and fighting overseas for the first time against one of the most skilful operators and accurate punchers in the lightweight division.
The 32-year-old former Olympic bronze medallist has had things largely his own way so far and would be a respectable European title contender.
However, he may quickly realise against Martin that they are operating on different levels.
Harutyunyan can only hope that Martin has an off night in Las Vegas but even then, a less than 100% version of ‘The Ghost’ would be too much for the German.
|Head movement||Walks on to shots|
|Strong left hook||Loses shape|
|Decent jab||Makes silly mistakes|
|Always busy||Gets into trouble on the inside|
We take a look at all of the vital statistics of both fighters as they get set for their showdown in the United States...
|Frank 'The Ghost' Martin||Artem Harutyunyan|
|Height:||5ft 8ins||5ft 7.5ins|
|Trainer:||Derrick James||Robert Harutyunyan|
|Record:||17-0 (12 KOs)||12-0 (7 KOs)|
|Last Fight:||W - UD v Michel Rivera (Dec 2022(||W - UD v Humberto Galindo (Jun 2022)|
|Frank Martin (1/12) v Artem Harutyunyan (7/1)||WBC lightweight title eliminator|
|Elvis Rodriguez (2/9) v Viktor Postol (13/4)||Super-lightweight bout|
|Freudis Rojas v Diego Santiago||Welterweight bout|
|Quinton Randall (20/57) v Willie Jones (43/20)||Welterweight bout|
|Justin Cardona (53/20) v Jose Perez ()||Super-lightweight bout|
Chief support to the bill-topping bout at The Cosmopolitan is a light-welterweight contest between Elvis Rodriguez and 39-year-old former world champion Viktor Postol.
Rodriguez is 2/9 to defeat Ukrainian opponent Postol, who will be making his first appearance in the ring for 17 months.