Kiko Martinez: I am an offensive fighter and I know that I can hurt Zelfa Barrett
Heavy-handed pressure fighter Kiko Martinez will step up in weight to face once-beaten Zelfa Barrett in a scheduled 10-round junior lightweight contest at the SSE Arena in London on Saturday.
Martinez, who previously held the IBF junior featherweight title, is delighted to still be active despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am very happy with this opportunity,” Martinez (41-9-2, 29 knockouts) told The Ring through Oscar Zardain. “I am very thankful to my team and Eddie Hearn. With all this shit of Coronavirus around it is amazing that all the best promoters are still counting on me for the big fights. Barrett will be a serious test.”
This matchup figures to be an interesting clash of styles. However, the battle-hardened warrior from Spain feels that his greater experience will pave the way to victory.
“[Barrett] has excellent footwork and a lot of defensive skills,” said Martinez. “I think he is a good fighter, but he is not yet on the same level of the top champions that I fought in the past.
“I am an offensive fighter and I know that I can hurt him and win the fight in the last rounds.”
The all-action power-puncher has trained diligently at home in Elche and also Madrid with his head trainer, Tinín Rodríguez, and assistant, Vicente Fernández.
Although, Martinez, who turns 35 in March, is at the veteran stage of his career, he still feels that he can contend for further titles.
“My goal is to win a third European championship in a new category,” said Martinez, who won that title at 122 and 126 pounds. “Also, if I win on Saturday with an IBF (regional) title at stake, I would love to fight the winner of [Kid] Galahad-[Jazza] Dickens for the IBF 126-world title. I love to fight British people (laughs).”
Barrett is the nephew of former British and European titleholder, and WBO junior welterweight title challenger, Pat Barrett. He turned professional in 2014 and won his first 19 outings before dropping a 12-round majority decision to Ronnie Clark in February 2018. Since then, the 27-year-old has reeled off five wins and collected the Commonwealth title. This is the first step into European class for Barrett, who sports a record of 24-1, 15 KOs.
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Barrett-Martinez will be the chief support to Josh Warrington-Mauricio Lara. These bouts, plus undercard action, will be broadcast by DAZN in the U.S. and Sky Sports in the U.K.