Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Frampton will run but I'll knock him out: Kiko

European champion Kiko Martinez prepares for his clash with Carl Frampton
European champion Kiko Martinez prepares for his clash with Carl Frampton

Kiko Martinez is in town and ready to crush the dreams of Belfast boy Carl Frampton at the Odyssey Arena on Saturday night.

The European super-bantamweight champion is adamant we will see the best of him in his latest defence of the title, having teamed up with the promotional company of World middleweight star Sergio Martinez.

The 26-year-old champion, who calls himself 'La Sensacion', views Saturday night as in effect a world title eliminator and has no doubt he will make an impact akin to the one that left Bernard Dunne's fans in shock in 2007.

While he expects it to last longer than the 86 seconds it took to demolish the former world champion, Martinez simply cannot envisage hearing the final bell.

"Being with Sergio Martinez has made a big difference. The whole team has made me feel very comfortable, I am more relaxed and I have been able to focus totally on the fight – it's the best camp I've ever had and I feel so strong," said Kiko, who spent five weeks training in the States before returning around Christmas to finish off his work in Spain.

"I think Frampton is a very good fighter and for this fight I think he will move and box, he won't want to stand and fight with me. I think Frampton will run.

"He knows that if he stands with me he'll have a big problem because I am a puncher and I will knock out Frampton – whatever Frampton does I will knock him out.

"It's a more difficult fight than Dunne because Frampton can study my style. When I fought Dunne nobody knew me, I was unknown.

"I don't know if I'll knockout Frampton the way I did with Dunne but I will knock him out because his style is perfect for me.

"I hope he comes for a fight so the Belfast public can enjoy watching me and when I get out of the ring I'll tell you how I knocked him out.

"After I win I want to go for a world title and I am being lined up to fight in the States as soon as possible in a world title fight. I'm very confident about winning, I'm not even thinking about the possibility of losing."

Brought up in a working class family in the little village of Torrellano, Alicante, Kiko proved himself not only to have talent as a boxer but also as a footballer and when he hit 16 the choice had to be made as to which professional route he would go down.

"I had to choose one sport and I went with boxing. I was playing football and was very good and I was offered to turn professional with Elche who play in the second division of the Spanish League," said Martinez who certainly has no regrets about his decision which has seen him win and lose the European belt, while also coming up just short in an IBF World title eliminator.

Two of the three loses on his record were to former European champion Rendall Munroe, who took the EBU belt from a 21-year-old Kiko in his first defence of the title, won on that dramatic night at The Point in Dublin.

While some may point to the Munroe defeats as demonstrating his weaknesses as a fighter, the 26-year-old says it would be a mistake to judge him on those two nights.

"When I fought Munroe I was a kid, a baby. It was my first defence of the title and now I am a man, I am more experienced. I am a 12-round fighter and I have adjusted my style so I can go 12 hard rounds," he said, before repeating his belief that he will simply overwhelm Frampton, whatever tactics the Tiger's Bay man employs.

"It is not a problem for me if Frampton runs because I am the champion and Frampton cannot run all the time.

"He has to show the judges and the Belfast public that he deserves to be European champion.

"I am more confident than ever because my condition is so much better after working in America.

"I will knock him out."

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