osh Warrington meets Kiko Martinez for the second time in Leeds on Saturday night as he tries to become world champion again.
Just two weeks after Leigh Wood’s incredible KO of Michael Conlan in Nottingham in Nottingham, the featherweight division is once again taking center stage.
Former IBF titlist Warrington is hoping to regain the belt he gave up in January 2021 on home soil, after a frustrating pair of fights against Mauricio Lara.
After being stunned by a shock stoppage loss to the Mexican at Wembley Arena last February, Warrington could not get revenge at Headingley in September as a horror cut suffered by Lara following a accidental clash of heads caused their rematch to be canceled after two rounds. and ordered a technical draw.
While the ‘Leeds warrior’ will always be out for revenge on Lara, he must now refocus on a chance to become a double world champion as he takes on a familiar opponent in Martinez.
The duo faced off at the same venue in May 2017, with Warrington winning by majority decision as they retained their WBC international title, winning the full IBF crown two fights later against Lee Selby at Elland Road.
Martinez has regained relevance at the top level after a devastating sixth-round knockdown of Kid Galahad in Sheffield in November saw him quickly end the latter’s brief championship reign.
Now 36, the Spaniard is a two-weight world champion himself, having previously held the IBF super bantamweight title before losing to Carl Frampton for the second time in 2014.
In addition to those memorable fights with Frampton, the very experienced Martinez also lost world title fights to the likes of Leo Santa Cruz, Gary Russell Jr and Scott Quigg.
He last fought on these shores in February 2021, dropping a controversial decision against Zelfa Barrett on the Warrington-Lara undercard. Eddie Hearn would later criticize two of the scorecards from this fight as “absolutely disgusting”.
Martinez vs Warrington 2 date, start time, location and ring walks
Kiko Martinez vs Josh Warrington 2 takes place on Saturday March 26, 2022 at the First Direct Arena in the challenger’s hometown of Leeds, exactly the same venue as their first fight in 2017.
The main card will begin at 7 p.m. GMT, with the main event no earlier than 10 p.m.
As always, the exact start time will depend on how the undercard fights progress.
Martinez vs Warrington 2 fight card / sub-card in full
Kiko Martinez vs. Josh Warrington
Maxi Hughes vs. Ryan Walsh
Maria Cecilia Roman vs. Ebanie Bridges
Dalton Smith vs. Ray Moylette
French Calum against Angelo Turco
Mali Wright vs. Luis Palmer
Cory O’Regan vs. Jakub Laskowski
Skye Nicolson vs. TBC
How to watch Martinez vs. Warrington 2
TV channel: Martinez vs Warrington 2 is streaming live on sports video streaming service DAZN. A subscription to DAZN currently costs £7.99 per month in the UK.
Direct: You can also follow all the action as it happens with Standard Sport’s live fight night blog, which will cover the entire card in full.
Martinez vs Warrington 2 fight prediction
Many questions have been asked about Warrington since that devastating loss to unheralded Lara that derailed a previously unbeaten career.
Having just given up his IBF belt to seek other titles due to the organization’s refusal to sanction a fight with WBC champion Xu Can, since deposed by Leigh Wood, suddenly a brutal knockout by a little-known opponent after 16 months of inactivity sabotaged all of his best-laid plans.
The fact that this macabre cut stopped him from seeking revenge on Lara will always eat away at Warrington, but he needs to think hard for this one and prove there’s still plenty left in the tank.
Another loss seems unthinkable at this point if he is to remain relevant at the top level and potentially continue to pull off those mammoth featherweight matchups.
Although he knows how to beat Martinez, the experienced and cunning Spaniard remains a tough and dangerous proposition, as Kid Galahad knows all too well.
It’s all about mentality for Warrington, who will want to feed off his ever-adoring audience and prove that his energetic, teeming style and punch resistance remain intact.
Warrington to regain the title on points.
Martinez vs Warrington 2 weigh-in results
Martinez tipped the scales at 125.4 pounds at Friday’s weigh-in, with Warrington slightly heavier at 125.7 pounds.
“At the end of 2019 I loved the sport, I was the best in the world. But I had 15 months out and then I just took a little tickover fight and ended up being knocked out “said Warrington.
“The rematch, there was rehabilitation, questions about whether I was still there and had I lost it? The side was enough to beat Lara but it wasn’t the best side. What happened happened in the fight.
“But when I got back to the gym and started camp, I had the bit between my teeth like I used to, like I was riding. I love it and can’t wait to fight the night.
“Some boxing pundits say ‘he’s seen better days’, I’m doing fine and I want to show them otherwise. Physically I’m in great condition and mentally the confidence is at an all time high.
Martinez vs Warrington 2 Odds
Victory Martinez: 11/4
Victory Warrington: 1/4
Martinez wins on points or by decision: 22/1
Victory of Martinez by KO, TKO or DQ: 10/3
Warrington wins on points or by decision: 8/11
Warrington win by KO, TKO or DQ: 3/1
Odds via Betfair (subject to change).