Kiko Martinez Knocks Out Kid Galahad to Take IBF Featherweight Title

Kiko Martinez has pulled off a major upset…

The 35-year-old Spanish professional boxer became a two-weight world champion at the age of 35 after a huge knockout of Kid Galahad in the sixth round of their IBF featherweight title fight on Saturday in England.

After serving an 18-month ban for a doping violation, and then winning a world title at the second attempt after losing a split decision to Yorkshire rival Josh Warrington in 2019, Galahad’s career had been gaining momentum.

Martinez, a former world junior featherweight champion in 2013-14, hardly arrived with a formidable record on British soil. He suffered his seventh loss in the United Kingdom earlier this year and was not expected to give Galahad any problems.

Galahad (28-2, 17 KOs), 31, looked like he was going to make it an early night when he shook Martinez with a right hand in the opening round.

Galahad, who won the vacant title against James Dickens in August, cleverly found openings to land more punches. Martinez could not cover up in time as Galahad proved too quick and too smart in the opening rounds.

Martinez (43-10-2, 30 KOs), from Alicante, was caught by a straight left in the third round and was cut above his right eye.

At the start of the fifth round, Martinez came charging off his stool to take the fight to the champion.

Galahad seemed to lose focus and momentum, became complacent, and paid for dropping his hands when Martinez floored him with a huge right hand. Galahad got up at the count of eight and was saved by the bell.

But Galahad’s head did not clear and he was knocked out cold with the first punch of the sixth round when Martinez landed another overhand right.

“For the last three years I have been living like a monk,” Martinez said. “My wife has helped me a lot with my anxiety and it has paid off. I’m in better shape than I was at the age of 20 years old.”

Galahad, who needed two attempts to make weight for the fight, is likely to be offered a rematch against Martinez.

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Three-time European junior featherweight champion Kiko Martinez is now an official world titleholder.

The 28-year-old Spanish boxer pulled off an upset Saturday night, outgunning Colombia’s Jhonatan Romero and knocking him out in the sixth round to win the world junior featherweight title in unexpected fashion at the Revel Casino-Hotel.

Kiko Martinez

“This is a dream come true for me,” Martinez said through a translator. “[Ring announcer] Michael Buffer called out my name. This is a dream. I am super-happy. I have no words. All I want to do is give my daughter a kiss when I get home.”

Romero and Martinez went right at each other in the first round. There was no getting-to-know-you at all. But Martinez, in particular, was super-aggressive and winging hard shots, which eventually caught up to Romero, who took a beating and was a bloody mess when the fight was finally stopped.

Martinez (29-4, 21 KOs) caught Romero in the first, hurting him on a left hand and backing up. Martinez landed 44 of 88 power shots in the round and never let up.

He backed Romero up throughout the fight. He was pressuring him relentlessly and, in the third round, was strafing Romero with right hands, including one that opened a cut over the beltholder’s left eye.

In the sixth round, Martinez was bouncing Romero off the ropes with a series of shots.

Romero was out on his feet, and when Martinez blasted him with two more clean right hands, sending him into a corner, referee David Fields stepped in at 2 minutes, 40 seconds.

“I knew I had to keep throwing punches because he wasn’t responding,” said Martinez, who added that he wanted to fight former titleholder Nonito Donaire next. “Sooner or later, the referee would have to stop the fight.”

Romero (23-1, 12 KOs), 26, of Colombia, was making the first defense of the vacant 122-pound title he won by split decision against Mexico’s Alejandro Lopez on Feb. 16.