By Terence Dooley
Kiko Martinez has withdrawn from his EBU super bantamweight title defence against Ireland's Carl 'The Jackal' Frampton. When confirming the decision to pull out, the Spanish titlist cited his father's recent illness, which resulted in him having to have his leg amputated.
“Obviously this has to do with his father, who has been very sick and has just had his leg amputated. He is very close with his family and that is the reason after agonizing with the problem for a few weeks the decision was made in the last few hours," stated Joe Forbes, a member of Martinez's team, when confirming the news.
The EBU have stripped Kiko of his title and the situation allows former beltholder, Willie Casey, to step in should terms be reached early this week. Jonny Stapleton of irish-boxing.com has confirmed via Willie's manager, Gary Hyde, that the Irishman has been offered the opportunity to contest the belt at Belfast's Odyssey Arena on September 10 should a deal be thrashed out.
"Following Kiko Martinez’s withdrawal, Wille Casey has been offered a European title fight with Carl Frampton. Willie is mad for the fight, but there are a few things to be considered before we make a final decision,” confirmed Hyde before stating that a decision will be made by Tuesday leaving Frampton, 10-0 (6), sweating ahead of his first big title challenge.