The WBC’s recent spree of eliminator orders included a stipulation that should Teofimo Lopez defeat Jose Pedraza in his December 10th ESPN main event, he must then face Sandor Martin for a spot in line behind Jose Ramirez Jr as super lightweight mandatory challenger. That fight will come earlier than expected, as Mike Coppinger reports that Martin has agreed to step in after Pedraza withdrew due to “non-COVID illness.”
Spain’s Martin (40-2, 13 KO), whose only prior trip to the States saw him end Mikey Garcia’s career via upset decision in October 2021, has won 11 straight since a 2017 decision loss to then-unbeaten Anthony Yigit. He’s been a steady fixture of the European scene for most of his professional career, including a reign as EBU champion that saw him beat Joe Hughes and Kay Prospere.
He’s not going to be an easy out for Lopez (17-1, 13 KO). If “The Takeover” does wind up making short work of him despite Martin (to the best of my knowledge) never suffering a knockdown in his pro career, it’ll mean “140-lb Teofimo Lopez” is legitimately a man to be feared.
Also, just some props to Martin for taking this fight on less than a month’s notice. He’s got some brass ones.