Kiko Martinez really hadn't earned his world title shot tonight, but given good connections and good fortune, he took advantage of his opportunity, stopping IBF super bantamweight titleholder Jhonatan Romero in the sixth round to win his first world title.
Martinez (29-4, 21 KO) was aggressive from the opening bell, dominating the first round to the point that all reasonable men and women should have scored it 10-8 in his favor. But to the credit of Romero (23-1, 12 KO), he did rebound nicely in the second and third rounds. In the end, though, it was Martinez's relentless determination that told the story of the fight.
Romero, 26, dominated the portions of the fight where he could pull the trigger in the middle of the ring, as Martinez found himself outgunned in terms of hand and foot speed. But when the fight got close, which it did far too often for Romero, it was all Martinez, as he slammed away with evil body shots and big shots upstairs, hurting Romero repeatedly over the course of the fight.
In the sixth, Martinez poured on the pressure once more, and Romero began to fade for the final time. At 2:40 of that round, referee David Fields jumped in to stop the one-sided action.
"Pinch me, please, because this is a dream for me," Martinez said after the fight, through a translator.