Kiko Martinez (10/3 – To win by KO/TKO/DQ/Technical Decision) has vowed to beat Josh Warrington “within the distance” when they meet for the second time at the First Direct Arena, Leeds on Saturday evening.
These two fighters went head-to-head in West Yorkshire back in 2017 and it was Warrington who claimed the spoils that time via a majority decision, with two judges scoring the bout 116-112 and the other seeing it as a 114-114 tie.
After that victory, Warrington dispatched Dennis Ceylan before then winning the IBF featherweight title when beating Welshman Lee Selby in 2018. The 31-year-old defended his belt three times, against Carl Frampton, Kid Galahad and Sofiane Takoucht, before then vacating the title.
The Leeds-born boxer was then knocked out in the ninth round by Colombian Mauricio Lara in a shock first career defeat in February 2021 before the rematch between the pair ended in the second round after an accidental clash to the head resulted in a cut above Lara’s left eye.
However, Warrington now has the chance to reclaim his IBF strap when he takes on Spain’s Martinez, who upset Galahad with a sixth-round technical knockout back in November at Sheffield Arena.
The 36-year-old will be making the first defence of his title and despite being priced at 3/1 to get the victory, he is feeling extremely confident ahead of the contest and has made a bold prediction.
Martinez said, as quoted by fightmag.com: “I’m confident because as I said last time, I was going to become World Champion and I did it. I said I was going to beat Kid Galahad within the distance, and I did. The same will happen on Saturday, I will beat Josh Warrington within the distance. Maybe he’s too confident and doesn’t understand he’s facing Kiko Martinez.
“Josh is a great boxer, he’s won some fantastic fights in his career, beating Frampton, Selby, Galahad and many more. He’s still a big name in boxing, I think he was doing well in the Lara fight until the accidental clash of heads. He’s still got credibility in the world of boxing, and I want to go on and beat him, knowing last time it wasn’t just luck when I won the world title against Kid Galahad.”