Boxing match: With a stoppage victory over Kiko Martinez, Josh Warrington reclaims the featherweight world belt

Boxing match
Source: Skysports

Boxing match: After stopping Spain’s Kiko Martinez in round seven to reclaim the IBF featherweight gold in Leeds, Josh Warrington became a two-time world champion.

Warrington, 31, recaptured the IBF title he had lost 14 months earlier in exciting fashion, blitzing a tough and durable defending champion in front of a partisan, sell-out crowd at the First Direct Arena.

Martinez, who had escaped a knockdown in the first round and was seriously cut above his left eye, was hit with a barrage of strong punches in the seventh, and the fight was stopped two minutes and 12 seconds into the round by the referee.

With a furious performance in front of his boisterous army of fans, Warrington soared back to the top of his weight division and put a dreadful 2021 behind him in style.

From the first bell, ‘The Leeds Warrior’ launched a savage onslaught on Martinez.

Kiko Martinez was dropped to the canvas after a powerful right punch landed flat on his chin. After a count of eight, he stood up, but a cut appeared above his left eye, close to his nose.

In the second round, the defending champion was put under a lot of strain as the Leeds fans urged Warrington on to what they anticipated would be an early triumph.

Martinez, on the other hand, has proven to be as tough as a walnut. As Warrington eased off the pedal, he survived the storm and looked to get back into the fight.

In the fourth round, Warrington had his opponent on the ropes again, and in the fifth, a sequence of pounding rights turned the arena back up to full roar.

Martinez took his time coming out for the sixth round while his cut eye was being treated, and he finished the round nodding in gratitude after being caught by another ramrod right at the end.

Warrington realised his moment had arrived and rushed at the Spaniard at the start of the seventh round, trapping him on the ropes and pummeling him to a halt before the referee intervened to stop the fight.

In his previous two battles, both against fast-rising Mexican Mauricio Lara, the Yorkshireman had suffered his first career defeat and a technical tie.

Warrington had fallen out of favour in his weight division, but after defeating Martinez for the second round (he beat him on points at the same venue in 2017), he has reclaimed the IBF title and now has his sights set on even bigger prizes.

Unification contests against WBC champion Mark Magsayo or WBO belt-holder Emanuel Navarrete have been proposed, as has an all-British showdown against Nottingham’s Leigh Wood at Elland Road or the City Ground.

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