The Titanic Quarter, Belfast, Northern Ireland will play host to a titanic battle on Saturday night September 6th as IBF World Super Bantamweight champion Kiko Martinez enters ‘The Jackal’s’ den to face the undefeated challenger Carl Frampton.
Both fighters have dynamite in either hand which should make for an explosive night of action and only serve to stoke what is certain to be a partisan and undoubtedly vociferous atmosphere in a 16,000 capacity purpose built stadium on the banks of the River Lagan.
Frampton will be confident going into his first world title shot against a man he has already knocked out. Their first encounter was staged at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast back in February 2013 where they battled for the European Title. Frampton won with a 9th round TKO after being forced to box on the back foot throughout as Martinez tanked forward for the whole fight before eventually being halted by a devastating right hand in a highly entertaining contest.
However despite losing that bout to Frampton in their European title showdown, it was the Spaniard who progressed onto the world stage first showing great fortitude to bounce back immediately with four wins in a row all of which came via way of knockout. After a quick disposal of Argentine Marchiano he got a shot at the then undefeated 23-0 Champion Jhonatan Romero and claimed his IBF strap with a sixth round TKO in Revel Resort, Atlantic City, USA. He has since scored two stoppage victories in defence of his title.
The ‘Jackal’ meanwhile has been fighting more like a bull in his last couple of fights ripping through his opponents with consummate ease. Jeremi Parodi lasted six rounds whilst Hugo Cazares was all too keen to go for an early bath once he had tasted the power of the Northern Irishman and the fight was ended in the second after he failed to beat the count. However, Frampton may well have to live up to his nickname and be a bit more crafty and astute against a powerful front foot fighter like Martinez.
Despite the first fight being a tough action contest where both men had their successes it was Frampton who deservedly led on the scorecards at the time of the stoppage and with the contest again being on his home patch, Martinez certainly won’t be benefitting from any decision if the fight is a close one which rightly makes Frampton the favourite despite being the challenger.
Frampton’s overconfidence and desire to engage in a toe to toe war for the entertainment his home fans could be a danger against a boxer packing a lot of power. At 5/1 the value in the betting odds certainly lies with the champion Martinez who probably shouldn’t be marked out at that price. Odds of 7/1 are available for TKO/KO victory which it is likely he will need in order to win. He has a world title to protect and a chance of revenge against the only boxer to have knocked him out. However despite the champion representing the better value, the presence of the experienced Barry McGuigan, who has been there and done it, should be enough to have Frampton focused enough to execute his plan and come through to win.
Frampton: 18-0 13KO 72.22KO%
Martinez: 31-4 23KO 65.71KO%