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Xavier Martinez vs Robson Conceicao headlines January 29th ESPN card

Conceicao unsuccessfully challenged Oscar Valdez for the WBC super featherweight title earlier this year

Luis Nery v Brandon Figueroa Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images

Keith Idec reports and Mike Coppinger confirms that former Money Team super featherweight prospect Xavier Martinez has signed with Top Rank, a partnership that begins January 29th when Martinez faces Robson Conceicao in Tulsa, OK.

The parting appears to have been amicable, as Leonard Ellerbe took to Twitter to wish Martinez (17-0, 11 KO) the best.

Sacramento’s Martinez (17-0, 11 KO) passed the stiffest test of his career in October 2020 when he survived two knockdowns to beat former title challenger Claudio Marrero by unanimous decision. He faces what looks like a much more daunting challenge in Conceicao (16-1, 8 KO), a 2016 Olympic gold medalist who acquitted himself well in defeat against Oscar Valdez last September.

Very bold matchmaking by Top Rank, but I can’t say I’m not a fan. Even if he falls short, it’ll be a great learning experience for the 24-year-old Martinez, who’ll still have time to bounce back.