Kiko Martinez will test his Spartan training regime in his rematch against Warrington

As a champion with a brief run earlier in his profession, Kiko Martinez realized to by no means take issues without any consideration. He grabbed his first belt in 2013 in a gentle upset win over beforehand unbeaten Jonathan Romero and misplaced it one yr later after solely two defenses. What adopted was a string of pedestrian wins at dwelling and preordained losses overseas, the standard path for a former titlist with out the assist of a prime promoter or a TV community.

Regaining his former glory was not going to be simple, and Martinez was the primary one to comprehend that. The COVID-19 pandemic offered him with an opportunity to concentrate on his aim, and he made essentially the most of it by rededicating himself to his craft in methods that only a few different fighters have accomplished in historical past. And after his upset win of Child Galahad in Sheffield in November of 2021 (which earned Martinez the “Comeback of the 12 months” award from this publication), the Spanish dynamo working below the no-translation-needed nickname of “La Sensación” is able to proceed on a sensational path in the direction of a spot amongst his nation’s greatest names ever in boxing.

“The thought is to proceed on the identical path, coaching each day of the week, not having distractions or weekends off and even holidays,” mentioned Martinez (43-10-2, 30 knockouts) in a telephone interview. “The thought is to proceed with this similar self-discipline so long as I stay energetic in boxing, as a result of that is the one manner wherein I’ll proceed making historical past. The rest won’t be very optimistic for me. Clearly, the one manner wherein I used to be in a position to do what I did was to reside solely devoted to boxing.”

Martinez claims he dedicated to coaching full time, 7 days per week, throughout your entire pandemic, and he credit his win over Galahad to this uncommon coaching regime. And he now vows to place his Spartan regime to the take a look at as soon as once more in his rematch towards England’s Josh Warrington on January 26 in Leeds, in what Martinez expects to be the primary of a sequence of alternatives to point out that his all-in, I’ll-sleep-when-I’m-dead dedication to boxing will as soon as once more deliver him to the highest of the heap.

Josh Warrington (left) vs. Kiko Martinez (YouTube)

“To me, it’s a likelihood to dream once more, to lastly understand that each one the work and all of the self-discipline I put in throughout all these years have paid off,” mentioned Martinez.  “These days when my household went out someplace and I stayed at dwelling understanding, all of this was value it. It has been unimaginable to expertise what I’ve been experiencing all these months, as a result of once I grew to become a champion earlier than I didn’t get a lot consideration as this time, and it has been wonderful to get a brand new title in a brand new division. It’s a dream come true.”

His rematch with Warrington, which may have Martinez’s IBF featherweight title at stake, comes on the proper time for the Spanish fighter, who has developed a part of his profession within the UK and already feels snug combating there.

“We had a really shut (first) battle with Warrington. I fought in his homeland, with every part going towards me. I consider I deserved to win, by an in depth margin however I do consider I received. However whenever you’re combating overseas you settle for defeat. The one factor I would like to alter is being extra aggressive in the direction of the tip of the bout. I consider this may give me the sting to win the battle. Being extra aggressive than final time, that would be the key. And that’s how I’ll develop into victorious this time, little question about it.”

With all of the sacrifices he has made in his life and driving on the energy of his phenomenal demolition of a promising younger champion like Galahad, it’s tough for Martinez to not look previous his subsequent problem and look in the direction of a future wherein he’ll seize sufficient belts to sooner or later develop into Spain’s most adorned champion. What was as soon as a dream for him is now inside his grasp, and he embraces that aim with open arms.

“If I do beat Warrington, I want to unify towards (WBO titlist Emanuel) Navarrete or perhaps battle (WBC beltholder) Gary Russell Jr. once more,” mentioned Martinez, in reference to the battle he misplaced in Brooklyn again in 2019 on a cuts-induced stoppage. “Perhaps having an enormous battle in Belfast towards the winner of (Michael) Conlan and (Leigh) Wooden. These are my proposals. I want to finish this yr with one other title belt in my palms. Being a unified world champion is one thing I might love, it’s one thing I’m working in the direction of. Not solely to win one other title, however slightly to be a unified champion.”

Gary Russell (left) opens up on Kiko Martinez. Photo by Al Bello/ Getty Images

Gary Russell (left) opens up on Kiko Martinez. Picture by Al Bello/ Getty Pictures

Returning to Northern Eire to attain a decisive win would imply so much to Martinez, who misplaced his IBF junior featherweight belt towards Carl Frampton there again in 2014 in what was the primary of an extended sequence of painful losses. However transferring previous two-division titlist Javier Castillejo as Spain’s most achieved fighter would require way more than going again to these crime scenes and attempting to get it proper. Shifting previous that and on to greener pastures might be ultimate, and it doesn’t get any higher than the grazing fields of Las Vegas, the place the grass is greener and the checks are fatter than anyplace else within the boxing world.

I might like to face (WBC junior light-weight titlist) Oscar Valdez,” mentioned Martinez. “I believe it might be an important battle for me, and the tip of an unimaginable interval in my profession. He’s an incredible fighter who comes from Staff Canelo, and with a purpose to shut an important stage in my profession he could be a dream matchup, little question. I might additionally prefer to battle for a WBC belt earlier than I retire, and be their champion. It might be a dream come true for me.”








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