KIKO MARTINEZ IS back in Ireland and he has another boxer in his sights.
The Spaniard, who famously knocked destroyed Bernard Dunne over 86 stunning seconds to claim his European title, was in Belfast on Thursday to promote his upcoming fight with Belfast boxer Carl Frampton.
Five years after that memorable super bantamweight title fight with Dubliner Dunne and Martinez is predicting a similar result.
He told the Irish Boxing website, “I didn’t really have much time to see whether Bernard Dunne came to fight or box, it only lasted 86 seconds.” He added:
It was the best day of my life, it made a huge difference in my career. I love boxing in Ireland and the way the people treat me.
“I’ve come to Belfast to defend my title, it’s a voluntary defence. But not only will I have Carl Frampton against me, I’ll have the whole crowd against me. I have to do this to prove to myself that I’m good enough to step on to another level.”
Under McGuigan’s guidance
The 25-year-old Frampton, who is managed by former world featherweight champion Barry McGuigan, is unbeaten in 14 professional bouts, with nine knockouts.
He told ESPN, “It’s going to be a great fight and a great occasion, and the kind of big night that Belfast fans love. I know he’s a great fighter but I believe that I will beat him.”
Martinez declared, “It all depends on the night and whether Frampton comes to fight or if he comes to box and keep away. It just depends how he turns up on the night, we’ll be ready for anything.
“I don’t think Frampton can withstand my power, I think I can knock him out. (Dunne and Frampton) are both completely different boxers , I wouldn’t compare them at all, I just take one opponent at a time.”
To get you in the mood for the EBU title fight at the Belfast Odyssey on 22 September, here is what happened the last time Martinez boxed in the Emerald Isle:
YouTube credit: brianpetersboxing