Warrington vs Martinez Headline Leeds this Saturday – Young Josh Warrington (24-0) will be defending his WBC international title at featherweight this Saturday night in his hometown of Leeds. He faces the challenge of veteran brawler Kiko Martinez (36-7-1) of Spain.
Martinez is an experienced fighter and his resume includes two previous fights in the United Kingdom. He lost his world title to Carl Frampton and then lost a subsequent world title attempt against Scott Quigg. Those two losses came in the super bantamweight division and, in moving up to featherweight, Martinez is taking on a big challenge. Warrington has not fought in roughly eight months and he is excited to be back for a step-up fight. Warrington faced international competition in 2016, going 2-0 against Japan’s Hisashi Amagasa and Ireland’s Patrick Hyland and this match-up with Martinez is par for the course. Matchmakers have been very careful in bringing Warrington along and the bout with Martinez is a measured step up in competition.
For Martinez, it may be a last gap. He is returning from a loss to WBA world champion Leo Santa Cruz in the United States and that became the third world title fight in a row that he has lost. Though Warrington is well regarded, he is a step down in competition from where Martinez has operated for the last few years. If Warrington is ready to step up, Martinez may find that Warrington passes him on the way up to the world level. It would be good for Warrington to finish the fight, but with just 5 KO’s in his 24 fights it is unlikely he will be able to finish Martinez.
The other two fights being offered at the sports books feature local British action that has much more competitive lines than the main event.
The most competitive line currently offered sees Josh Leather (11-0) and Philip Sutcliffe Jr (13-1) in a near pick ’em fight for the vacant IBF intercontinental title at 140 pounds. Leather is from Yorkshire while Sutcliffe is from Ireland so the full U.K. vs British rivalry will be in full effect for this one.
Super bantamweight action sees British champion James Dickens (22-2) facing the challenge of undefeated Thomas Patrick Ward (20-0). Though Ward is undefeated he has a questionable resume and he has had just two fights scheduled for 10 rounds. Dickens two losses come to Guillermo Rigondeaux and Kid Galahad, both undefeated fighters of a much higher pedigree than anyone Ward has faced. Ward comes to box as he has just two KO’s in his 20 wins.
Warrington vs Martinez Headline Leeds This Saturday
The entire card features 12 fights in all and is promoted by Frank Warren and his Queensbury Promotions, generally considered the number two promotional company for boxing in England behind Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing. Warren has cut a deal to air the main events on BT Sport in the U.K. you can check your local listings for start times. Below are the odds being featured at the sports books, check back later for changes and additional odds for Saturday’s show.
First Direct Arena – Leeds, England
Featherweight 12 rounds –
Kiko Martinez +1500 o9½ -180
Josh Warrington -3000 u9½ +150
Super Bantamweight 12 rounds –
Thomas Patrick Ward +150
James Dickens -170
Super Lightweight 12 rounds –
Philip Sutcliffe Jr -125
Josh Leather -105
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