Josh Warrington produces stunning knockout to beat Kiko Martinez and win the IBF featherweight title

Just over 13 months after vacating the IBF featherweight title, Josh Warrington has reclaimed it after a stunning knockout win over Kiko Martinez at the Leeds Arena.

TITLE CONTEST: Josh Warrington in action against Kiko Martinez at the Leeds Arena. Picture: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing.
TITLE CONTEST: Josh Warrington in action against Kiko Martinez at the Leeds Arena. Picture: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing.

Warrington classed the contest as the most important of his life and certainly fought like it as he beat Martinez after seven rounds.

The referee called a half to the contest two minutes and 12 seconds into the seventh round as Warrington unloaded on the Spaniard, who was up against the ropes.

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After Martinez defeated Kid Galahad to win the IBF belt in November, he expressed a strong desire to face Warrington again as he still had a gripe over their first meeting, which Warrington won by majority decision in 2017.

It was the Leeds Warrriors's first time back at the Leeds Arena since he knocked out Sofiane Takoucht inside two rounds in October 2019 and he delivered again for the packed-out crowd.

Warrington celebrated afterwards in the ring, with Leeds United defender Luke Ayling joining in after he took part in the Leeds Warriors's walk to the ring.

Warrington was extremely aggressive from the first bell but, more importantly, incredibly accurate and he had Martinez down in the first round with a fierce right hand.

Martinez looked shaken after taking some heavy punishment and let his frustration out with a punch just after the first round finished, which earned a telling off from the referee.

TITLE CONTEST: Josh Warrington in action against Kiko Martinez at the Leeds Arena. Picture: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing.

Another frantic three minutes followed in the second round with Warrington taking the fight to the champion. Martinez was boxing in his 56th professional contest and showed resilience to get through the second round.

Martinez was much improved in round three as he managed to land several shots on Warrington who could not sustain the same early pressure on the Spaniard.

In the fourth, Warrington received a third telling off for leading with the elbow - much to the disdain of the highly-partisan home crowd. Martinez had sustained a cut to his face early in the fight and by the end of the fifth, it had worsened with blood dripping down his face.

By the sixth round, Martinez had recovered from his early knockdown and was poses plenty of questions for Warrington, who was coming up with the answer as the blood continued to adorn the champion's face.

Boos rang around at the start of the seventh as, for the second round in a row, Martinez's corner were instructed by the referee to further treat his cut. There would be no further opportunity for boos as the referee stepped in as Warrington unloaded a barrage of shots on Martinez to celebrate being a world champion for a second time.