By Scott Gilfoid: Josh Warrington challenges IBF featherweight champion Kiko Martinez on March 26th on DAZN at the First Direct Arena, Leeds, UK.
It’s a questionable move by Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn lining Warrington up for a title shot against Martinez after the way he’s performed lately, but oh well, this is what he wants.
This might be the end for Warrington unless the fight is stopped due to his head-butting like last time. Warrington’s punch resistance looks GONE at this point, and he’s facing the wrong guy in Martinez, who can punch like a mule kicks.
You would think with Warrington coming off two dreadful back-to-back performances against Mauricio Lara in 2021, he’d be the last person to be getting a world title shot against the 35-year-old Kiko.
Despite not winning a fight in over TWO years, Warrington gets hometown advantage against the IBF champion Martinez. Wow!
Does Martinez need a knockout to win?
Poor Martinez will be up against it in this fight, dealing with a massive pro-Warrington crowd in Leeds and likely needing a knockout to get the win.
What happens if Warrington goes full Billy goat on Kiko when the times get tough in the fight. We just witnessed Warrington causing his rematch with Mauricio Lara to be halted last September when he repeatedly rammed heads with the Mexican warrior.
Some boxing fans believe that the 31-year-old Warrington intentionally head-butted Lara to avoid getting knocked out a second time.
What would have made it far worse for Warrington is that his hometown boxing fans would have witnessed the garbage, and many of them would have likely abandoned ship permanently.
What was humorous was how Warrington blabbering to the fans afterward, talking about how disappointed he was that his fight with Lara was stopped due to the cut.
Mauricio Lara must be furious now
As Gilfoid said, it looked like Warrington was lowering his head and charging forward to ram Lara like an oversized Billy goat. From the first round, you could see that the fight wouldn’t last more than a round or two with the way Warrington was diving forward headfirst.
Mauricio Lara has got to be feeling pretty upset after hearing the news of Warrington (30-1-1, 7 KOs) being given a title shot against IBF 126-lb champion Kiko (43-10-2, 30 KOs) rather than him. Gilfoid is speechless at seeing this indignity.
In the sense of fairness, it should be Lara that is being given a world title shot against Kiko rather than the guy he knocked out. Yeah, boxing is a business, and it makes sense for Warrington to be getting the title shot based on that angle.
It just doesn’t look fair that Warrington is getting the world title shot rather than his conqueror, particularly after the head-butting exhibition that Josh put on last September in the rematch in Leeds.
In their first fight last February, Lara (23-2-1, 16 KOs) whipped Warrington like an old rug, stopping him in the ninth round at Wembley Arena in London, UK. But in Lara-Warrington rematch last September in Leeds.
Martinez was pure gold in his last fight, stopping IBF featherweight champion Kid Galahad in the sixth round last November in Sheffield, UK.
Galahad had his way through the first four rounds of the contest, and it looked like he was going to wear down the grizzled 18-year pro.
In the fifth round, Martinez landed a couple of big shots that made it clear that Galahadcouldn’t afford to take too many more of those types of punches without him hitting the deck. It was strange that Kiko waited until the fifth and sixth before loading up on his shots.
Once that happened, it was the beginning of the end for Galahad. In the fifth round, Kiko nailed Galahad with a heat-seeking right hand that exploded off his jaw like a giant supernova, sending him down on the canvas.
Galahad got up, but there was no way he would last much longer. Sure enough, in the sixth round, Kiko finished Galahad to get the TKO victory.