Kiko Martinez: “I knew Galahad was my last chance”
Kiko Martinez produced one of the upsets of the year when he scored a come from behind knockout over Kid Galahad to become the IBF featherweight title at the Sheffield Arena, Sheffield.
The fight was as startling as it was stunning. Kid Galahad had his way with Martinez for the first four rounds and looked en route to a comprehensive victory.
“I was hurt in the first round, but my experience helped me to survive and I recovered in the second.” Martinez (43-10-2, 30 knockouts) told The Ring through Oscar Zardain. “In the fourth round, I started to hitting Galahad with hard punches to the body and I felt him tired in the fifth round.”
In the last moments of the round, the Spaniard landed a fight-changing overhand right that dropped Galahad on his back.
“I felt it was a ‘now or never’ situation,” Kiko said. “He was seriously hurt and one minute may not enough time to recover.”
When Galahad rose, he was saved by the bell. However, the defending champion hadn’t recovered and Martinez picked the same shot in the opening seconds of the sixth round to knockout Galahad.
“We had been training my right [hand] punch for a long time to connect [with] him in the unorthodox stance and the plan went perfectly.” he said. “My final right punch was with all my rage and fury. It was for the whole Spanish boxing community.”
It was a huge moment for Martinez and breathes new life into the 35-year-olds career.
“I knew it was my last chance to win a world title,” he said, having been stopped in previous featherweight title attempts against Leo Santa Cruz (TKO 5) and Gary Russell Jr. (TKO 5). “I started working with my new corner at the end of 2016 and these last four years I was living like a monk.”
Martinez enjoyed a relatively low-key celebration after the fight until he returned home to Torrellano.
“After the medical check-up we went straight to McDonald’s, my favourite dinner,” he said.
However, he doesn’t feel as though the win is life-changing.
“Thank God, I earned good money throughout my entire career,” he explained. “But at the end of the day, I have two daughters and a family and I want to take care of them.”
Martinez is promoted by Maravilla Promotions, headed up by is his long-time friend, former two-weight world champion Sergio Martinez and is understandably jubilant of Martinez stunning win.
“He is an exceptional person and very dedicated sportsman, he deserves the best for himself and his family,” said Martinez. “I was very excited throughout the fight, cheering him and shouting orders. I probably looked like a hooligan [Laughs.]”
It’s still early days but “Maravilla” has an idea of what he would like to do next.
“We would love to do a rematch against [Josh] Warrington, Kiko lost the first fight in a very controversial decision,” he said. “But we will be looking for the best possible fight and the best possible purse. He is ready to fight anyone.”
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