(Photo credit: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME) LOS ANGELES (Feb. 24, 2016) – Former world champion Kiko “Sensacion” Martinez (35-6-0, 26 KOs) participated in a media workout Wednesday at the City of Angels Boxing Club in Los Angeles as he prepares to face undefeated WBA Featherweight World Champion Leo Santa Cruz (31-0-1, 17 KOs) on Saturday, Feb. 27 live on SHOWTIME® (7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET) from Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
In the co-feature Mexican warrior Julio Ceja (30-1, 27 KOs) meets Hugo Ruiz 35-3, 31 KOs) in a long-awaited Super Bantamweight World Title rematch and undefeated heavyweight Gerald Washington (16-0-1, 11 KOs) will face unbeaten Oscar Rivas (18-0, 13 KOs). Both Ceja and Washington joined Martinez to give the media a preview of what’s to come on Saturday.
Martinez spoke about the adjustments he’s made as his trainer Gabriel Sarmiento was unable to obtain a Visa in time to travel to the United States and will not be able to serve in his corner come Saturday. Martinez is confident that renowned Southern California trainer Robert García will be able to lead him to a world title on Saturday night.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB promotions, are priced at $27, $54, $104 and $199 and are on sale now via ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster retail locations, by calling 800-745-3000 of by stopping by the Honda Center Box Office.
Here is what the fighters had to say Wednesday:
“I’m very happy to have Robert Garcia in my corner. He has led so many fighters to world titles. I’m excited and I’m anxious to get things going. I’m ready to collaborate and I think we’ll do great things Saturday.
“The people who doubt that I will take this title only make me stronger and more dangerous.
“Training camp has been extremely tough with lots of demands due to facing a champion like Leo Santa Cruz because he’s an excellent boxer who I admire. I have completely devoted myself to training for this fight.
“On Saturday everyone will get to see the best Kiko Martinez. I am going to be bringing the pressure and giving you all a great fight with power punches to disarm Santa Cruz and take the title.
“I hope that fans will change their mindset of seeing me as the underdog and support me because I am here to show something else.
“I am very happy to be here and have the opportunity to fight in the United States again.
“I love this California weather, it reminds me of the weather of El Canario where I was training and I am feeling great.
“I am ready. Now all there is left is to wait. We’ve got the weigh-in ahead of us and I’ve already made weight. I will be working up a sweat just to remain active and distracted because I am ready to jump in the ring and start the best fight of my life.
“I have won a world title in the United States and became a world champ here and I am expecting to become the world champ here once again. That fight was how I became known here, now this fight will be the biggest fight of my career.
“I’ve been studying [Santa Cruz] for quite some time now, since I’ve been waiting to fight him previously, now it has come to this point in this time of my life. I have grown and learned so much since then that I truly feel that I have learned from my mistakes and grown to the best of my life yet.”
“Luckily [trainer Gabriel Sarmiento] has been training me up until this point. We’re on the same team and we have each other’s backs and he is still fully supportive. I have him in my heart and I know that he will be supporting me all the way.
“I am not worried about what anyone is saying. All I want is to get in the ring come Saturday and demonstrate that Leo and I will put on a huge fight and the audience will not be bored for a single minute.”