Kiko Martinez saving his last bullet for Jordan Gill
Dangerous veteran Kiko Martinez looks to reignite his career when he challenges Jordan Gill for the European featherweight title at Wembley Arena in London on Saturday.
Martinez, who is rated No. 8 by The Ring at 126 pounds, is grateful for the opportunity coming off losing his IBF title to Josh Warrington earlier this year and he knows victory is imperative.
“[Gill is] a very complete boxer, I respect him as if he was a world champion and I know he’s going to leave everything in the ring to beat me,” Martinez (43-11-2, 30 knockouts) told The Ring through Óscar Zardaín. “He had a tough time in his last fight, but at the end of the day he’s the champion and he’s not going to give me anything.
“Right now, more than ever, I only have the word victory in my head. I am very focused and, for me, there is no other possibility than victory – this is my last bullet.”
Several months removed from the Warrington fight and the Spaniard is still perplexed how the Brit was allowed to use his head excessively.
“I will never understand how such things are allowed in a professional boxing ring and in a country like the U.K., which is like my second home and the birthplace of boxing,” said Martinez, who will be fighting in Great Britain and Ireland for the 15th time.
“That night, I could have suffered a very serious accident; it was reckless on the part of the referee and the doctor. My corner asked several times for the doctor to come to see me and he didn’t want to. He said he would only go if the referee asked him to. It was a trap and I don’t think I deserved that.”
The 36-year-old decided to change things for this fight and go back to Gabriel Sarmiento, who trained him when he won his first world title in 2013.
Martinez says the move has helped him re-focus on what he hopes can be an exciting climax to an impressive career.
“I want one last chance to fight for the world championship – that’s my goal,” said the former two-weight titleholder. “I think my last fight against Josh Warrington wasn’t fair. He used his head several times and he wasn’t penalized at any point. It hurt me a lot to lose like that.
“I am very fortunate, because financially I can say I have my life sorted out and my family is covered. But I need to say goodbye to boxing to be at peace with myself. My goal is to beat Jordan Gill and then to fight for a world title again. After that, I can leave peacefully.”
Gill (27-1-1, 8 knockouts) turned professional in 2012. The 28-year-old Brit took the scalps of Jason Cunningham (UD 10), Ryan Doyle (TKO 7) and Emmanuel Dominguez (TKO 3) before coming unstuck against tough Mexican Mario Tinoco (TKO 8).
Since then, he’s beaten former world title challenger Cesar Juarez (UD 10). However, Gill is best known for getting off the canvas and fighting hurt before scoring a spectacular one-punch, come-from-behind knockout over Karim Guerfi (KO 9) to claim the European title in February.
The main event of the evening, Katie Taylor vs. Karen Elizabeth Carabajal, plus full supporting undercard action will stream live on DAZN starting at 2:00 p.m. ET/ 11:00 a.m. PT.
Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected].