By Ben Jacobs
Kiko Martínez is excited about the prospect of making the first defence of his title on his home turf in Elche, Spain on December 21.
“[Jeffrey] Mathebula is a great professional with a lot of experience and the only thing I have to do is train hard and be ready in the best possible way,” said Kiko.
“His height won’t be a problem for me because all the sparring that I’ve done throughout my career has been with taller fighters. We’re working with tall guys every day.
“I think he fought on the back foot against [Nonito] Donaire and managed to go the distance. I think he came out to survive, but he showed he can take a good shot. I know that he’s a good boxer and a good sportsman.”
For recent training camps Martínez has elected to prepare in Oxnard, California, however, on this occasion he will base himself solely on the Iberian Peninsula.
“This time we’ve decided to train only in Spain given that the fight is going to be here. It is better that we’re in the same climate and time zone as the place where the fight is held.
“We’re going to train the same way as we do in America, and with the ‘Professor’, Pablo Sarmiento.
“It’s great for Spanish boxing and Spanish sport in general that the fight is here and I’d like to thank my team and Sergio ‘Maravilla’ Martínez, and everyone at Maravilla Box who fought to bring the fight to Spain. It took a lot of work and negotiation.”
Martínez has been consistently linked with a rematch against Carl Frampton, the man who stopped him in nine rounds last February. There is also talk of a fight with Scott Quigg, which could be a unification match. Both men have said they will be ringside in Spain, watching Martínez.
“I will be the champion for many years. I hope I see them in person, face-to-face too. Once I beat Frampton I’d like to fight Quigg as he’s a great champion. Frampton is also a good fighter. I’m going to work very hard so that the belt stays in Spain.
“[Jeremy] Parodi didn’t do much against Frampton. I don’t know what kind of preparation he had but he made it easy for him.
“I see things on Twitter from Barry McGuigan but as I don’t understand English I have no idea what he’s saying. But I’ve heard he wants a rematch with me, and they will get one, they will get one.
“As soon as I deal with Mathebula I want the rematch as well, and I’ll win, I’m convinced of it.”Tags: Kiko Martinez , Frampton vs Martinez , Frampton-Martinez , Carl Frampton , Jeffrey Mathebula