Step-Aside Deal in the Works: Sandor Martin to Clear Path for Haney vs. Garcia Title Fight

By Jon Ingram - 02/18/2024 - Comments

A step-aside deal is being worked on for WBC mandatory challenger Sandor Martin to move out of the way, allowing 140-lb champion Devin Haney to defend his title against Ryan Garcia on April 20th, revealed WBC-president Mauricio Sulaiman.

Haney’s mandatory defense is due against Martin (42-3, 15 KOs) after Devin captured the WBC belt from champion Regis Prograis last December in San Francisco.

Mandatory Defense vs. Mega-Fight

WBC president Sulaiman told Pro Boxing Fans that a step-aside deal is being worked on to have Sandor clear a patch for the Haney-Garcia mega-fight. Given how huge that fight is, Martin will likely be getting a sizable step-aside deal, which is a win-win for him, but obviously, he’d rather get a title shot against Haney (31-0, 15 KOs).

That’s not happening, especially after Haney leaked 35K PPV numbers for his fight with Prograis on December 9th on DAZN. Haney cannot afford another low PPV fight, which would definitely happen if he fought Martin.

Martin’s Future Uncertain

Predictably, Sandor Martin will be bypassed again by the winner of the Haney vs. Garcia fight, as the two could wind up meeting in a rematch if their April 20th mega-fight generates a lot of PPV buys and makes huge money.

There’s zero chance that the winner of that fight will agree to defend the WBC light welterweight title against the crafty southpaw Martin and potentially lose or look bad the way Teofimo Lopez did in his controversial win over the Spaniard in December 2022 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Teofimo clearly lost that fight but was given a ten-round split decision despite being dropped twice and outboxed the entire contest by Sandor.

Martin’s outlook is poor for him getting a chance to fight for the WBC 140-lb belt anytime soon, if ever. What’s likely to happen is Martin will be frozen out and will eventually lose to someone while waiting for his opportunity to challenge for the world title.

It’s a bleak situation, but given the money that Haney and Ryan generate for their fights, Martin will likely be pushed to the side repeatedly.