Who wins Kiko Martinez-Carl Frampton II?
IBF junior featherweight titleholder Kiko Martinez will “prove that he is a better fighter,” his promoter, Sampson Lewkowicz said of Saturday’s rematch with Carl Frampton. Frampton handed Martinez his last loss by ninth round stoppage in February 2013.
However, few others agree.
“I don’t see why Carl Frampton-Kiko Martinez II will be much different from the original,” states RingTV.com’s Michael Rosenthal of Frampton-Martinez I, which took place at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Their return bout is slated for the Titanic Quarter in Belfast.
“Martinez clearly bounced back nicely after he was stopped by Frampton in February 2013. I think Martinez will make Frampton work very hard – and perhaps hurt him once or twice…”
The bout between THE RING’s number three-rated 122-pounder, Martinez (31-4, 23 knockouts), of Spain, and THE RING’s number one-rated Frampton (18-0, 13 KOs), of Northern Ireland, has the makings of a doozy.
In his last fight in April, Frampton, 27, scored his fourth straight stoppage, doing so in the second round against Hugo Fidel Cazares.
Martinez will be in pursuit of his fifth straight knockout win in his third defense against Frampton and is coming off a seventh round technical knockout over ex-titleholder Hozumi Hasegawa in April in Japan.
RingTV.com compiled the opinions of 16 insiders regarding what they expect to transpire in Martinez-Frampton II.
Carl Frampton TKO 11 Kiko Martinez: Quite possible the very best match-up in a loaded fight weekend. I like Kiko Martinez to offer a more competitive fight this time around with the bout fought on even terms before Carl Frampton rallies for a dramatic late-rounds stoppage. A bit deeper than the first but with a similar result.
Record: 17-6 [Last pick: Anthony Dirrell UD 12 Sakio Bika]
Carl Frampton UD 12 Kiko Martinez: Kiko Martinez has the title but Frampton has the advantages. The biggest might be his hometown, Belfast, where Kiko Martinez is 1-1, including a loss to Carl Frampton by ninth round stoppage in 2013.
There’s a chance that Martinez won’t last much longer than a pint of Guinness at the corner pub. But the first fight is reason for Martinez to proceed with caution.
Martinez is skilled enough to deal with Frampton’s fast hands but Frampton has displayed a good chin and his power is emerging. Both promise to score a punishing victory on the cards.
Record: 19-7 [Last pick: Dirrell UD 12 Bika]
Carl Frampton KO 3 Kiko Martinez: In rematches of fights that end by conclusive stoppage, it’s usually a good bet to happen again and sooner. Meat gets tenderized and so do badly-beaten boxers.
My prediction is that Carl Frampton picks up right where he left off at home, hurts Kiko Martinez to the body early, then attacks wounded prey. Northern Ireland’s hungry “Jackal” will finish off the gritty Spaniard with a punching display akin to a predatory kill.
All the talk now will be on territorial battles against either Golden Boy’s Leo Santa Cruz or Top Rank’s Cuban “Jackal” Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Record: 17-9 [Last pick: Shawn Porter UD 12 Kell Brook]
Carl Frampton UD 12 Kiko Martinez: In their first bout, Carl Frampton was forced to earn his successes on route to a spectacular one-punch knockout in round nine.
Still, despite that conclusive ending, Kiko Martinez had kept “The Jackal” on the back foot for most of the contest and was only a touch behind when the Belfast man lowered the boom.
This time around, Martinez will be energized to gain revenge, retain his world title and make a mockery of the landslide odds in Frampton’s favor.
I think that type of motivation keeps the game Spaniard in the bout until the final bell but in all honesty, Frampton is just the better fighter and will prevail via comfortable points decision.
Record: 19-7 [Last pick: Dirrell UD 12 Bika]
Carl Frampton UD 12 Kiko Martinez: I like Carl Frampton to defend his home turf successfully although Kiko Martinez will likely apply what he learned in the first bout to steer clear of any unnecessary exchanges that could result in a second stoppage loss.
But I still think Frampton’s left hook will continue to do enough damage to win rounds and even stagger the Spaniard enough to go two-for-two in Belfast.
Record: 7-1 [Last pick: Saul Alvarez W 12 Erislandy Lara]
Carl Frampton KO 5 Kiko Martinez: This fight should be action-packed as long as it lasts. Kiko Martinez is plenty heavy-handed, so he has a chance in any fight he’s in.
Martinez has KO’ed four straight guys since he last met Carl Frampton, so any psychological damage from that first bout should be gone. However, the styles favor Frampton.
He’s clever, won’t just stand in front of Kiko and hits hard himself. He’ll make Martinez chase him and make him pay when he misses. That, plus a big edge in hometown backing will give Frampton the win in the first half of the fight.
Record: 18-8 [Last pick: Porter KO 8 Brook]
Carl Frampton W 12 Kiko Martinez: I never predicted a draw and I don’t think it will happen this time but if anything, this fight will be even more of a toss-up than the first one.
Knowing each other like they do, my bet is that they both will double down on whatever worked best for them the first time around – speed and volume for Carl Frampton, bull-rushing, two-fisted attack for Kiko Martinez – and the final outcome could easily go either way.
If Martinez is at his 100 percent best – he claims he wasn’t the first time around – he has a chance to turn this around and set up a terrific rubber match. Otherwise, I am expecting a solid, workmanlike, very close decision for Frampton.
Record: 6-5 [Last pick: Dirrell W 12 Bika]
Carl Frampton KO 7 Kiko Martinez: Unbeaten Carl Frampton remains so. Home field is once again a comforting thing and Kiko Martinez is good but nothing special. Frampton by stoppage in seven.
Record: 13-2 [Last pick: Gennady Golovkin KO 7 Daniel Geale]
Carl Frampton W 12 Kiko Martinez: Will Carl Frampton make it two in a row against Kiko Martinez this Saturday in Belfast? The answer is yes but it won’t be easy.
Martinez has rebounded nicely since being stopped by Frampton last year. He’s won four straight fights by knockout. Frampton is undefeated in 18 bouts with 13 of those wins inside the distance.
Martinez wants revenge but this is a matter of one fighter, Frampton, being a little more talented. I see Frampton flooring Martinez and winning the rematch by unanimous decision.
Record: 19-7 [Last pick: Dirrell SD 12 Bika]
Carl Frampton KO Kiko Martinez: Their first fight was more competitive than might be recalled. That’s the power of a one-punch knockout, Carl Frampton’s right hand making clear who the better man was that night.
Both men are improved over what they were a year ago and that means we should get another good fight. We should also get a similar outcome. With Northern Ireland behind him, Frampton stops Kiko Martinez again to win his first major title.
Record: 14-11 [Last pick: Dirrell W 12 Bika]
Carl Frampton UD 12 Kiko Martinez: I don’t see why Carl Frampton-Kiko Martinez II will be much different from the original, although Martinez clearly bounced back nicely after he was stopped by Frampton in February 2013.
I think Martinez will make Frampton work very hard – and perhaps hurt him once or twice – but I believe the more talented Irishman, fighting in front of his hometown fans, will either score another late KO or more likely win a unanimous decision.
Record: 12-5 [Last pick: Golovkin KO 7 Geale]
Carl Frampton KO 8 Kiko Martinez: Carl Frampton is a rising star fighting in his home town of Belfast. He’s already stopped Kiko Martinez once in the ninth round. He makes it quicker this time with an eighth round KO.
Record: 11-0 [Last pick: Terence Crawford KO 10 Yuriorkis Gamboa]
Bradley Starks, guest/fan, Novato, Calif.
Carl Frampton KO 8 Kiko Martinez: This match-up is the kind I like: a stalking grinder with power versus a slick boxer/puncher with equal or slightly better power.
Kiko Martinez wants the public to believe that he wasn’t 100 percent for their first meeting but I call bulls–t on that one. Carl Frampton is the better fighter and the Spaniard knows it. “The Jackal” wins by KO in the later rounds of an exciting back-and-forth fight, much like their first encounter.
Record: 6-1 [Last pick: Dirrell UD 12 Bika]
Carl Frampton KO 10 Kiko Martinez: Carl Frampton bested and knocked out the Spaniard Kiko Martinez in nine rounds with one punch. Since that victory, the Irishman has gone on to win two contested bouts while the loser went on to win the IBF belt.
It should have been the other way around for Frampton, who will be facing a different fighter who has more confidence and more will to win in their rematch. Will that be enough for Martinez? Unfortunately, no. Martinez’s title reign will end inside of 10 rounds.
Record: 17-6 [Last pick: Porter KO Brook]
Carl Frampton KO 8 Kiko Martinez: The first meeting between Carl Frampton and Kiko Martinez proved to be an exciting affair with both fighters hurt in the fourth.
Martinez was able to rough up Frampton and make it a genuine fight in the middle rounds but then the ninth round happened and Frampton dropped a short right on Martinez that ended the fight. Since then, Frampton has had a couple nice fights while Martinez has managed to earn the IBF title belt and defend it twice.
This should be another fun fight but don’t expect the script to flip the second time around. Look for Frampton to remain composed as he did the first time and stop Martinez around the eighth round.
Record: 11-8 [Last pick: Dirrell UD 12 Bika]
Carl Frampton TKO 10 Kiko Martinez: These two met early last year in what was a very entertaining fight that Carl Frampton got just the better of before scoring an impressive stoppage.
Full credit to Kiko Martinez, who rebounded to win a world title and has made two successful defenses and now heads back to Belfast seeking revenge. Since they last fought, Frampton has stayed active but has until now been able to get his much desired world title fight.
What you see is what you get with Martinez. He’ll look to pressure Frampton and push him back and beat down on him. Though Martinez will have his successes, I see Frampton again edging the action, getting off the better work and getting a late stoppage in a grueling action bout.
Record: 17-6 [Last pick: Dirrell W 12 Bika]
By the resounding shutout of 16-0, the insiders have chosen Carl Frampton to yet again defeat Kiko Martinez, this time for the IBF’s junior featherweight belt.
Photo by Jason Cairnduff