It could be argued that the featherweight division is the hottest weight class in the sport right now. We’re still getting over the sheer and raw excitement of the instant classic Leigh Wood and Michael Conlan put on, and it wasn’t too long ago when Kiko Martinez smashed Kid Galahad in a fight that was also crammed full of action along with unpredictability. And we could get more crazy 126 pound action this Saturday night, as Martinez faces Josh Warrington in a return shoot-out.
It was back in May of 2017 when Leeds warrior Warrington, 30-1-1(7) won a majority decision over the tough and always dangerous Spaniard, but it may not be a case of repeat on Saturday, perhaps one of revenge. Warrington took a hammering from Mauricio Lara a little over a year ago (this in a non-title fight, Warrington having vacated the IBF belt he will try and regain on Saturday) and we don’t know what he has left; Warrington having boxed to an unsatisfying technical draw with Lara in the September 2021 rematch (and Lara, another thrilling 126 pound operator, wants the third fight).
Martinez, 43-10-2(30) has been around forever and he is five years older than Warrington at age 36, yet Kiko is on top of the world right now due to that icing of common opponent Galahad. Martinez is confident he can and will get another KO on Saturday. Warrington, though, has other ideas. Warrington feels the current featherweight division is “wide open” and that he can capitalise.
“Only a few years ago, Leigh Wood looked like he was done but he got that shot against Can Xu and has now been involved in one of the contenders for fight of the year,” Warrington told The Yorkshire Post. “It is still wide open and it is all to play for. Anything can happen. It is exciting to be part of this little era.”
And excitement is what fans are expecting from Saturday’s rematch. Can Warrington become a two-time champ, or will Martinez break British hearts once again? For Saturday’s winner there are potential big (and thrilling) fights with Wood, with Leo Santa Cruz, with Emanuel Navarrete, with Mark Magsayo, with Lara. Indeed, there are some further potential classics to be made in the division.
Martinez overcomes a points deficit to score a late-round KO over Warrington in another memorable battle.