By Mike Coppinger
Kiko Martinez (29-4, 21 KOs) was a decided underdog heading into his "Boxing After Dark" bout with Jhonatan Romero, but his will and non-stop pressure made it a career night.
Now the holder of the IBF super bantamweight title, Martinez, who is advised by middleweight champion Sergio Martinez (no relation), is a key player in a hot 122-pound division. BoxingScene.com caught up with Martinez on his way to JFK airport in New York, where he was headed to catch a flight to his home country of Spain.
BoxingScene: What does this victory do for your career?
Kiko Martinez: I'm getting used to the fact that I'm world champion now and kinda getting used to and assimilating to the fact that I won the fight. It was a tough fight, but I came with my game plan and it just worked out.
BoxingScene: What did Sergio Martinez tell you after the win?
KM: He told me that he always knew I was going to be world champion, he had faith in me. He told me to appreciate this moment and continue to train hard and more of these moments will be coming to me. Sergio was broadcasting the fight in Spain, he was doing the announcing in the studio, and he became very emotional, he actually teared up after I won because he was so happy for me.
BoxingScene: How much do you feel you've improved over the past year or two?
KM: In the past year I signed with Maravilla Box and from there my career just started getting better, I started getting better advice from Sergio and the team and that just helped me become a better fighter.
BoxingScene: Now that you have the title, do you want a rematch with Carl Frampton?
KM: I think Carl Frampton's a great fighter, a good sportsman, he's very, very popular in his home country. I'm hoping that in the future we meet again in the ring so that I can avenge my loss.
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