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.