The Titanic Quarter in Belfast, Northern Ireland, will play host to an IBF super bantamweight title rematch today, as Kiko Martinez goes on the road to defend against hometown favorite Carl Frampton, with Martinez looking for revenge, and Frampton looking to gain his first world title.
Frampton (18-0, 13 KO) pretty handily defeated Martinez (31-4, 23 KO) via TKO-9 in February 2013, when the two met at Belfast's Odyssey Arena. But the 28-year-old Spaniard's fortunes have changed since then, as he's won four straight fights, including a TKO defeat of Jhonatan Romero in August 2013 in Atlantic City, which netted him the IBF 122-pound belt. He's defended two times, beating both Jeffrey Mathebula and Hozumi Hasegawa by stoppage.
Since beating Martinez, Frampton has gone 2-0, knocking out Jeremy Parodi and Hugo Cazares. Since their first fight, there's no doubt that Martinez has had the stronger record, and despite the result of their prior encounter, Frampton's legitimacy as a top super bantamweight contender, and the fact that Frampton is the betting favorite to repeat today, this is potentially a very interesting fight, and one that could be argued to go either way.
The undercard will see super flyweight prospect Jamie Conlan (12-0, 8 KO) of Belfast taking on Mexico's Jose Estrella (14-5-1, 10 KO), and Dungiven middleweight Eamonn O'Kane (12-1, 4 KO) squaring off against Lithuanian Virgilijus Stapulionis (23-3, 16 KO).