By Nathan Orr
The slipstream in which the Titanic was built is set to host another piece of iconic history with Northern Irish star Carl Frampton set to challenge for the IBF Super-Bantamweight world title against reigning champion, Kiko Martinez on Sep 6. Cyclone Promotions have prepared the venue to match the Belfast crowd’s admiration of the Tiger Bay fighter.
“The Titanic Quarter is a fantastic location and this event is breaking new grounds, it will the biggest Northern Irish boxing audience in history. The capacity will be 16,000 people and it will be a spectacular venue in the shadows of the Harland and Wolff cranes,” said promoter Barry McGuigan.
It’s a case of déjà vu’ for Frampton as he faces Martinez, the man he faced only a year and four months ago for the European Super-Bantamweight title. Now, the honours are much greater as Frampton is hoping to seize his defining moment by capturing his first world title.
“I have to give Kiko a lot of credit for coming back to Belfast. I’m not going to take anything for granted but this is a fight that I am going to win. I will show that it is my time to become world champion. I’ve been ready for this for a long time and I am more than ready now,” exclaimed Frampton.
It was expected that “The Jackal”, under McGuigan’s tutelage, would eventually be fast tracked to world honours. But it wasn’t anticipated that the man standing in his way is someone he became so familiar with in 2013.
After suffering a ninth round stoppage loss to Frampton, “La Sensacion”, bounced back by capturing the IBF title in emphatic style against Jhonatan Romero (TKO6), and then proceeding to defend his title twice, respectively against Jeffrey Mathebula (KO9) and Hozumi Hasegawa (TKO7). It’s fair to say that since losing his European strap at the hands of Frampton, Martinez has found a new lease of life through scoring four consecutive knockouts. The Spaniard now sees Sep 6 as the perfect opportunity to return to Belfast and avenge his demons.
“After a year and four months, I am back as a champion and am the one giving Frampton the opportunity. I thrive boxing away from home. On Sep 6 you will see the best of Kiko Martinez.”
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