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Frank Martin: Gervonta Davis fight will determine lightweight’s alpha male | Boxing News

By Alan Dawson

LAS VEGAS — Saturday’s main event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas is one that will determine the alpha male in boxing’s lightweight division.

That’s according to Frank Martin, who challenges Gervonta Davis for his WBA lightweight world title atop a Premier Boxing Champions pay-per-view on Prime Video and PPV.com.

“You’ve got two fighters here who dominate people,” Martin exclusively told Boxing News when we asked him to explain the animosity we’ve seen from them since contracts were signed for this headline bout.

“Nobody is going to punk me or roll over me like I’m going to be scared or intimidated,” said Martin. “And he’s the same. So when you’ve got two people like that, it’s just a natural fire that’s lit.

“We’re in the same weight class. We’re two fighters in the same division, so we can’t be buddy-buddy.”

When BN spoke to Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe backstage at the MGM Grand on Wednesday, he dismissed Martin’s comments that put him on the same level as a lightweight alpha, alongside his client.

“Frank Martin is not equal to Tank,” Ellerbe told us. “He’s not on his level. He’s a very good fighter in a division where there’s a lot of good fighters. And this is just another — not an obstacle, per se — but something you go through to beat one of the top dogs in the division.”

Martin, meanwhile, insisted to BN that there’s never been any disrespect between himself, and Tank. And that this fight has been built not on bad blood, but a deep-rooted desire from both fighters to establish themselves as the clear No.1 in the 135-pound division.

“When you got someone threatening what you’ve worked hard for, there’s something inside you that has fire to it. That’s what that is. That’s just where it naturally comes from.”

Regardless of who is the alpha dog, one thing is clear — Martin is the underdog. And considering how wide the odds are at Las Vegas sportsbooks, with Martin priced at -700, it means a surprise win would see him crossover in a way that he never has before.

A victory over Michel Rivera at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in December, 2022 was arguably the result that made the boxing trade take notice of Martin.

But it’s his performance over Davis, Martin told BN, that’ll make the rest of the world recognize his abilities, and his trajectory to the top.

“Getting this win over Gervonta, it gets no better than that,” he told us. “This is my coming out party.”

If you listen to Ellerbe, though, he seems to doubt Martin can enjoy any success Saturday night. “He’s got hand-speed against hand-picked guys,” the boxing exec told us. “He’s a good, young fighter — but not great. He’s definitely getting knocked out.”

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