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Frank 'The Ghost' Martin aims to give Tank Davis a big scare

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Many believe Frank “The Ghost” Martin is getting his shot at WBA lightweight champ and boxing superstar Gervonta “Tank” Davis too soon. However, a confident and undeniably skilled challenger believes his June 15 date at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas is his destiny.

The 12-round bout, plus undercard action, will air on Amazon Prime.

Davis (29-0, 27 KOs) is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world today and a legitimate knockout artist. While Tank’s detractors point to the fact that he frequently gives away rounds by not throwing enough punches, his next opponent sees things differently.

“He’s a patient fighter,” offered Martin (18-0, 12 KOs) in a recent interview with The Sporting News. “He’s willing to give up rounds to find a big shot and then he’ll slip one in between a guy’s punches and things like that.

“But we’ve seen him fight Isaac Cruz, and we’ve seen that he can box. He’s not used to doing it — he don’t like to box – but he’s able to do it if he has to. When he looks for a big shot and gets a guy out of there, he’s playing the patient game.”

WATCH: Gervonta Davis vs. Frank Martin on Prime Video

Despite being only 18 fights into his paid career, Martin has developed into a multi-dimensional pro. I asked the quick-fisted lefty how he would explain his fighting style to someone who had never seen him box before and then predict how that style might work against a seasoned champion like Davis?

“It depends on who I’m in front of, but I feel that I can lose a guy, I can turn him, I can do a lot of different things,” Martin said confidently. “I can show a lot of different looks and turn them into shots and all kinds of stuff. With me being fast, I can also hit a guy with shots they don’t see.

“[Tank and I have] sparred a lot, as you know, and I’ve sparred guys with a lot of different styles. I’m a balanced fighter; I can do it all. It just depends on what presents itself and I’ll execute the game plan my coach has got for me.”

If there’s a downside for Martin it’s that he’s been very inactive in the lead-up to the biggest fight of his career. His most recent outing was a baptism-by-fire win over Olympic bronze medalist Artem Harutyunyan (UD 12) in July and that’s been his only fight in the last 18 months.

Martin dislikes being inactive and said if it was his choice to make, he’d “fight three or four times a year.” Predictably, it’s the business side of the game that gets in his way, but the Detroit-born star isn’t overly concerned about his lack of ring time.

“I stay in shape and I stay in the gym,” said Martin with a smile. “I’m always learning. Even when I don’t have a fight, I’m training. That’s where I’m working on things, getting better at things, because I don’t take a lot of time off.

“I didn’t stop coming to the gym after the Artem fight. I pretty much stayed there. I like to get better. There’s always room for improvement. Even if I don’t have a date, I like to be working. I’m just always locked in and trying to be a better version of myself.”

Should Martin defeat Tank, then he’ll reign supreme in a lightweight division that’s bursting with talent. Last month, former pound-for-pound number one Vasiliy Lomachenko regained the IBF title with a brutal 11th-round stoppage of Australian brawler George Kambosos Jr.

While Martin admired the performance, the result came as no surprise.

“I felt that the style would be a little overwhelming for Kambosos,” he said. “I actually had some friends betting against Loma. I said to them, ‘Don’t do it,’ so they switched their bets up. They ended up betting with him and won.

“I would love a fight [with Loma]. That’s a great fight. There are some things I do that he does as well. I think that would be a super-explosive fight. But I don’t know how much longer Loma wants to do it. He’s been fighting for a long time. He’s still got a lot left in him, though, for sure.”

MORE: SN’s Top-12 best pound-for-pound boxers

To win the WBA lightweight title and hand Tank Davis his first professional loss, Martin is going to have to turn in the performance of a lifetime. However, the challenger’s self-belief is visceral and he speaks with sincerity and confidence about what lies ahead.

“This win will mean everything,” Martin stated. “It’s life-changing for me and my family. I ain’t getting the opportunity just to get it; there’s a purpose behind it. I’m not one of those fighters who’s just happy to be in the moment. I’m ready to capitalize; I’m ready to get it done.

“I’m happy to be here, but I’m also ready to win. There’s a difference.”

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