Carl Frampton prepares to realise a twenty-year dream when the Belfast puncher bids to become the IBF Super Bantam-weight world champion against old rival Kiko Martinez at Titanic Quarter in his hometown on Saturday.
Frampton has impressed with attacking displays of late, despite being considered a counter puncher as his last two fights have witnessed opponents beaten with the 27 year old on the front foot. A decisive left hand against the ropes was enough to see veteran Hugo Cazares counted out within five minutes of boxing in April and previous to that, wicked body shots ended the challenge of Frenchman Jeremi Parodi.
Spaniard Martinez and Frampton have met before as the pair exchanged fierce shots for six rounds 18 months ago until ‘The Jackal’ took control of the contest in the seventh and eighth. Frampton then delivered a crushing right hand to become the first man to stop Martinez in the ninth round and goes into the rematch as favourite to repeat the feat.
The fight is largely expected to follow the same pattern with both trading at close range as Martinez’ has a style that is built on only aggression and he will attempt to make the centre of the ring as his own.
Martinez, 28, has been in devastating form since taking the IBF belt from Jhonatan Romero in August 2013, having defending it with equally impressive victories over ex-world champions Jeffrey Mathebula and Hozumi Hasagawa since.
‘La Sensacion’ is plotting a revenge mission and has insisted in the build-up that talk of a new champion is premature, although 16,000 home fans are hoping otherwise as their favourite puncher sets about punishing Martinez a second time.
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Martinez v Frampton 2 is live on BoxNation this Saturday night from 7pm in the UK. To Subscribe click BoxNation