By Miguel Rivera
Kiko Martínez (29-4, 21KOs), the junior featherweight world champion of the International Boxing Federation (IBF), has extra motivation to retain his title because his upcoming defense is taking place at Pabellon Esperanza Lag in Elche, Spain. Martinez will defend his title against mandatory challenger Jeffrey Mathebula (27-4-2, 14KOs) of South Africa.
It will be Martinez's first defense since capturing the title in August with an unexpected sixth round knockout of Jhonatan Romero at the Revel Resort in Atlantic City.
"I'm very motivated, stronger than ever. I'm happy with myself. [I saw Mathebula] and he is very good, very strong, very tall and very complicated. I trained very hard for this fight. Because the fight is in Elche, I have extra motivation to win this because it's house, my people [ and because of that] I couldn't fall asleep in training," Martinez said.