By Elliot Foster
Josh Warrington has had his next opponent confirmed.
The WBC International featherweight champion will return to the ring on May 13, exclusively live on BoxNation and BT Sport.
Warrington (24-0, 5 KOs) tops a bill at the First Direct Arena in his home city of Leeds and features alongside Nicola Adams OBE who’ll fight for the second time in the paid code after making her debut on April 8 in Manchester.
Boxing Scene revealed recently that Marco McCullough, who it was announced would face Warrington on the aforementioned May date, didn’t sign the contract for the fight, despite it being confirmed as being offered.
‘Scene was then told by Frank Warren’s office that an offer had been made to former world super-bantamweight titlist Kiko Martinez to take up position in the opposite corner on the night.
And it was made official via the promoter’s social media channels on Monday, just hours after the maiden press conference to formally announce the Liam Smith vs. Liam Williams super-welterweight showdown, that the fight has been rubberstamped.
Martinez (36-7-1, 26 KOs) has boxed Carl Frampton, the former Super WBA world featherweight champion, twice in his career and has also shared a ring with ex-WBA king at 122lbs Scott Quigg.
He was last in action in November 2016 and has won four of his last six, with one loss and one draw, since being taken out inside two rounds by Quigg back in July 2015.
‘La Sensacion’, the 30-year-old Spaniard, represents something of significant step up in class for ‘Leeds Warrior’ Warrington, despite it being arguable that his best years are behind him.
Warrington was last in action at the same venue last July when he stopped Patrick Hyland, a former WBC world title challenger, inside nine rounds.
Elsewhere on the bill, Jazza Dickens (22-2, 7 KOs) will make the second defence of his British super-bantamweight title against mandatory challenger Thomas Patrick Ward (19-0, 2 KOs).
The Liverpudlian, who has been out since last July after suffering a broken jaw in a retirement defeat to Guillermo Rigondeaux, when he challenged the talented Cuban for the Super WBA world title in Cardiff, won the belt against Josh Wale and defended it against Ward’s older brother Martin back in November 2015.
Meanwhile, Phil Sutcliffe Jr. is slated to face Josh Leather for the vacant IBF Inter-Continental super-lightweight title.
It will grant the winner a world ranking with the organisation whose current champion is Namibian Julius Indongo – who himself seeks to unify with WBA ruler Ricky Burns on April 15 at the SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow –– but the fight is dependent on Sutcliffe Jr. coming out of a warm-up fight on March 10 at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast unscathed.
There will be action for British super-lightweight champion Tyrone Nurse over 10 rounds, just three weeks after he is slated to defend his Lonsdale belt against Joe Hughes on April 22 at Leicester Arena.
And Darren Tetley, Thomas Kindon, Zak Chelli and Kalam Leather will all box alongside Joe Maphosa, the former Team GB amateur standout, who will make his professional debut.