Former world champion Kiko Martinez (39-9-2, 28 KOs) will be looking for a scenario change for his next fight.
On Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Martinez challenged the comebacking WBC featherweight world champion Gary Russell Jr. (30-1, 18 KOs).
Things did not go as expected as Russell dominated the action and the contest was stopped in the fifth round, due to a gash that opened up over Martinez’s left eye. Referee Ricky Gonzalez stopped the fight in the fifth round upon the advice of the ringside physician, resulting in a technical knockout.
Martinez is planning to move back down to super bantamweight, where the boxer captured the IBF world title back in 2013.
Since moving up to 126-pounds, Martinez has challenged for the world title twice - with the other coming against WBA champion Leo Santa Cruz. He also fought and lost an eliminator against current IBF champion Josh Warrington. In his last fight, back in October, Martinez captured the EBU title with a decision win over Marc Vidal in his rematch.
No at the age of 33, Martinez views the 122-pound division as the best direction to take for his immediate future, and feels it may provide him with the best opportunity to get back in position for a world title shot.
"It was a good stoppage for a very tough fight,” said the former world champion Martinez. “I'm definitely a visual fighter so the cut made it tough. Gary was in great physical condition and it was a very hard fight.
"I'm going to rest a little bit now, but I'll be back. I thought I had some good moments and had a good division. I think I'll drop back down to 122-pounds to win a world title there."