Tuesday, September 26, 2023  |


Kiko Martinez stops Jeffrey Mathebula

Fighters Network

IBF junior featherweight titleholder Kiko Martinez scored his third straight stoppage with Saturday’s ninth-round knockout of South African former titleholder Jeffrey Mathebula before his partisan fans in Elche, Spain.

In victory, the 27-year-old Martinez (30-4, 22 knockouts) halted Mathebula (27-5, 14 KOs) for only the second time in the loser’s career, and the first since falling by seventh-round TKO to Thomas Mashaba in September of 2003.

Martinez made the first defense of the belt he won in August by dethroning previously unbeaten Jhonathan Romero (23-1, 12 KOs) following a sixth-round knockout in August.

Promoted by RING middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, who is not related to the pressure-fighting Spaniard, Martinez stopped a man in Mathebula who had rebounded from a unanimous decision loss to Nonito Donaire in July of 2012 with a unanimous decision over Takalani Ndlovu in March.

Nathan Lewkowicz, the son of Sergio Martinez’s advisor, Sampson Lewkowicz, informed RingTV.com that Kiko Martinez would like to pursue a rematch with Northern Ireland’s Carl Frampton (17-0, 12 KOs), who handed Martinez his last loss by ninth-round stoppage in February.

If not Frampton, then Martinez would be interested in WBA contender Scott Quigg (27-0-2, 20 KOs) of England or RING, WBA and WBO champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (13-0, 8 KOs).

Another possibility is a spot on the undercard of a potential bout between Sergio Martinez and three-division titlewinner Miguel Cotto, should that bout happen, according to Lewkowicz.

“There are three people we have as possible opponents. Hopefully, a rematch with Carl Frampton or a big fight with Scott Quigg or potentially Rigondeaux if it works out in terms of compensation and things like that,” said Nathan Lewkowicz.

“That’s if HBO backs it. I think that he’s going to want to rest a little bit, so, possibly, in the summer, or if the Cotto-Martinez fight gets done, maybe on that. That’s a possibility. There are a lot of possibilities. But more than likely, either Frampton or Quigg in a main event fight.”

Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]