Josh Warrington v Kiko Martinez
Live on DAZN
Warrior up for the fight
Leeds Warrior Josh Warrington must show he is up for the fight as he attempts to become champion of the world once more. The talented featherweight is a former holder of the IBF strap but is without a win in his last two bouts. He aims to get back on track when facing current IBF champion Kiko Martinez at the First Direct Arena in Leeds on Saturday, live in front of the DAZN cameras.
Martinez travels from his base in Alicante, Spain, having won the belt last time, courtesy of a shock stoppage win over Kid Galahad in Sheffield. Having already caused an upset on English soil, the experienced champion is eager to repeat the feat. But can he do in Leeds what he did in Sheffield?
Warrington is winless in two
Warrington will enter the ring on Saturday with the backing of a capacity crowd in his home town. The fight fans in Yorkshire love him as he's a dedicated, genuine fighter who loves the sport and always leaves it all in the ring. But the 31-year-old requires one of the biggest performances of his career to regain the world title following a tough time.
Last February, Josh was stopped inside nine rounds at Wembley Arena by hard-hitting Mexican Mauricio Lara. It was a result that shocked world boxing, but it was a fair one with Lara dominating his man. In September, the pair met in a rematch at Headingley Rugby League Stadium when the bout was declared a draw due to an accidental clash of heads. A third bout was expected before the opportunity to win back his belt surfaced.
Warrington can put the pain of the last year behind him by returning to the head of the division. The betting suggests he'll do just that with a win for Warrington trading at 1.251/4 on the Betfair Sportsbook. That quote is likely to send many into the method of victory market where they'll discover a KO/TKO win at 3.7511/4 and the points cheer 1.674/6.
Here comes the upsetter
At 36 years old and with 10 defeats already on his record, many followers of the featherweight division believed IBF world champion Martinez's best days were behind him. They thought wrong. The rugged Spaniard caused one of the biggest upsets of 2021, defying the odds to knockout the hotly fancied Kid Galahad in six rounds. It was a punch that came against the flow of the fight, but the right hand was heavy and flattened a Galahad who looked to be struggling at the weight.
That win over Kid at the Sheffield Arena took La Sensacion's professional record to 43 wins against 10 defeats and a pair of draws. The number 10 ranked featherweight in the world has scored 30 wins by KO but has been stopped four times himself. Included on the list of fighters to have beaten Kiko is Scott Quigg, Leo Santa Cruz, Carl Frampton, and Warrington. The pair first met in 2017, with Martinez losing a majority decision at the same venue.
The champion has lost two of his last eight, and that's reflected in the betting. Martinez can be backed to successfully defend his strap at 3.7511/4 on the Sportsbook with a second KO/TKO in a row trading at 4.216/5. The points win on English soil is unlikely at 2322/1.
Josh will give us more
Warrington nicked a tight points victory when these two met five years ago, but much has changed since, and we expect a more ruthless performance this time. Warrington knows that the pressure is on for the first time in his career. He must win this fight, and he must do it in style.
Back Warrington to win this bout over the distance, scoring a points win that shows he has his career back on track and is ready to face the featherweight division's biggest and best again.