Colombia’s Jonathan Romero will defend his IBF junior featherweight belt against Spain’s Kiko Martinez on Aug. 17 on HBO from the Revel Resort in Atlantic City, Gary Shaw Productions and Thompson Boxing Promotions announced on Thursday.
“Jonathan is a very talented fighter that brings a lot of excitement to the ring with his active style,” said Shaw. “I believe he’s the best super bantamweight in the world today, and I’m pleased that HBO will be televising his fight. He’s in a tough fight, but I believe he’ll come out on top.”
Romero (23-0, 12 knockouts) will put his title on the line against Martinez (28-4, 20 KOs) as the co-feature to a middleweight defense by IBF beltholder Daniel Geale (29-1, 15 KOs) against Darren Barker (25-1, 16KOs).
“I’m very thankful to my promoters Gary Shaw and Thompson Boxing for getting me this fight on HBO,” Romero, 26, who earned the then-vacant belt by split-decision over Alejandro Lopez in February.
“In my last fight, I accomplished my dream of becoming a world champion, and now it’s time to defend it. I know Martinez is a big puncher, but I believe my boxing skills will prevail in this fight. I’m coming to win, and to win impressively.”
Martinez, 27, rebounded from a ninth-round stoppage loss to Carl Frampton in February with a second-round knockout of Damian David Marchiano in April.
“Romero is a very good fighter, but he has never faced a powerful puncher like me. Once he feels my power, he’ll know he’s in for a short night,” said Martinez. “My goal is get the knockout one way or another. The fans watching will witness an explosive fight from my end.”
Alex Camponovo, executive Vice President of Thompson Boxing Promotions, views a victory by Romero as one that would make him more of a name fighter in America.
“We are excited that Jonathan ‘Momo’ Romero will be able to showcase his talent on HBO and make his first IBF title defense in front of a large U.S. audience. Since winning the world title, Romero has become a star in Colombia, and we want him to make the crossover,” said Camponovo.
“We know Kiko Martinez will be a rigorous test for Romero, but we can’t cut any corners at this level. It will be a great match because both men are ready to shine and are more than willing to show their ability.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]