Josh Warrington and Kiko Martinez fought hard for the IBF featherweight title. Warrington won the fight, taking back the title he had given up.
Josh Warrington and Kiko Martinez’s fight for the IBF featherweight title on March 26 wasn’t very close, but there was something amazing about the violence they created in less than seven rounds.
Even though Warrington had the upper hand the entire night, Martinez managed to take a lot of punishment while breaking Warrington’s jaw. Martinez’s ability to withstand Warrington’s barrage of punches while still causing damage with a limited number of punches shows that he is very strong.
According to CompuBox statistics, the figures were definitely in Warrington’s advantage. They threw similar numbers of punches, but Warrington landed 155 to Martinez’s 65.
It’s usually a one-sided encounter when a fighter doubles his opponent in connections. Martinez never had a chance to face Warrington, but his heart and determination compensated for his lack of ability.
Warrington vs. Martinez 2 featured two fighters who were thought to have a slim chance of becoming champions again.
Martinez (43-11-2, 30 KOs) became a world champion for the first time in 2013 when he defeated Jonathan Romero for the IBF super bantamweight title. He lost the crown to Carl Frampton five fights later.
Martinez, a 36-year-old Spaniard with a double-digit defeat record, was a huge underdog against Kid Galahad in November 2021. Galahad was defeated by TKO in round 6 in Galahad’s hometown of Sheffield, England, and he was re-crowned champion.
Despite being almost alone in his beliefs, Martinez had a gut feeling he would win that fight.
“I’m confident because, as I said last time, I was going to become World Champion, and I did,” Martinez said during a press conference prior to the bout. “I said I’d beat Kid Galahad within a reasonable distance, and I did.” The same thing will happen on Saturday; I’ll beat Josh Warrington by a comfortable margin.”
Martinez viewed his fight with Warrington as a re-enactment of his fight with Galahad. Although there were parallels, the history in this case was distinct.
The second battle between Josh Warrington and Kiko Martinez lacked the closeness of the first, but it more than made up for it in terms of tenacity and carnage
In 2017, Warrington and Martinez had a previous fight. Warrington won by a slim margin at the First Direct Arena in Warrington’s hometown of Leeds, England.
Their championship rematch took place at the same arena, although a lot had changed in the intervening five years. This time, Martinez had the upper hand heading into the battle.
Many questioned Warrington’s boxing longevity after his TKO loss to unknown opponent Mauricio Lara in 2021. He, too, had his reservations.
“Am I at the top of my game?” I wondered. Before his rematch with Lara in September, Warrington told FanSided.
The second time Warrington faced Lara, he looked better, but the draw put his boxing career in jeopardy. Doubts loomed heading into the rematch with Martinez.
Warrington (31-1, 8 KOs) fought like a deranged individual. In the first round, he exploited his size to force Martinez back.
Warrington threw a flurry of powerful punches. Martinez’s eyes were slashed closer to his left brow by a clash of heads, causing a constant stream of blood to run down his face.
The sight of red enraged Warrington, who became even more ferocious. With a looping right hand, he downed Martinez.
Martinez made it out of the round despite beating the count, but he was down on the cards and badly hurt.
Martinez, however, attempted to go on the offensive. Warrington was bleeding from the left eye after round three, and Martinez was moving on to round four.
Martinez was never going to win the bout, but after being repeatedly pounded in the face, he didn’t give up. Martinez appeared to have a chance to turn the fight’s tide early in round 4, but Warrington had other ideas.
Warrington threw Martinez off of him and resumed his dominance after the halfway mark of round 4. Martinez, who was forced to shell up and take Warrington’s jabs, threw and landed more punches than Warrington.
Martinez’s situation worsened in round 5 as another cut appeared on his right brow. Despite this, he pressed on, attempting to resurrect the fight.
Martinez’s plans did not pan out. Warrington’s offensive pressure finally got the better of him, as a final flurry in round 7 caused the referee to call a halt to the fight.
Warrington and Martinez’s features exhibited the scars of war after the battle. Cuts, bruises, and broken bones were on display in Warrington’s case.
Martinez was less efficient in the rematch versus Warrington, but he was as brave as ever. Martinez’s spirit cannot be questioned, even if he will likely never be a world champion again.
Warrington has reclaimed the IBF championship he lost in 2021. He isn’t a great fighter, but he isn’t the same boxer that beat Carl Frampton last year.
Warrington’s age and the accumulation of punches have taken their toll, but he is still “The Leeds Warrior,” as he demonstrated against Martinez.
Who knows how much Warrington or Martinez have left in the tank, but they’re still brimming with courage and pride.
Even though their abilities have deteriorated, their natural liveliness has not. That’s what made Warrington vs. Martinez 2 so entertaining and memorable.