Josh Warrington grew to become a double world champion after stopping Spaniard Kiko Martinez within the seventh spherical in Leeds to regain the IBF featherweight title.
Warrington, 31, reclaimed the identical IBF crown he misplaced 14 months in the past in thrilling style, beating a troublesome and enduring defending champion to the delight of a sold-out partisan crowd on the First DirectArena.
Martinez, who in some way survived a knockdown within the first spherical and was badly reduce above his left eye, suffered a barrage of heavy punches within the seventh and the referee stopped the struggle two minutes and 12 seconds after the beginning of the spherical.
Warrington proved his critics fallacious with a lightning show in entrance of his raucous military of followers, catapulting to the highest of his weight division and placing a depressing 2021 behind him in model.
‘The Leeds Warrior’ launched a ferocious assault on Martinez from the opening bell.
A vicious proper hook landed flush with Martinez’s chin and despatched him to the canvas. He stood after a rely of eight earlier than a reduce opened above his left eye, close to his nostril.
The defending champion got here underneath critical stress within the second spherical because the Leeds crowd roared Warrington over what they hoped could be a fast win.
However Martinez has confirmed himself to be as powerful as a nut. He weathered the storm and appeared to renew the struggle as Warrington eased off the pedal.
Warrington had his opponent on the ropes once more within the fourth spherical and a collection of pumping rights within the fifth despatched the sector again into full swing.
Martinez was gradual to return out for the sixth as his severed eye was healed and completed the spherical nodding in appreciation after being caught by one other stick simply on the finish.
Warrington felt it was his time and lunged on the Spaniard early within the seventh, trapping him within the ropes and pinning him down earlier than the referee stepped in to finish the struggle.
The Yorkshireman bounced again from his first profession loss and a technical attract his two earlier fights, each in opposition to quick rising Mexican Mauricio Lara.
Warrington had dropped the pecking order of his weight division, however after seeing Martinez for the second time – he beat him on factors in the identical place in 2017 – he reclaimed the IBF belt and now has even greater prizes in sight.
An all-British showdown in opposition to Nottingham’s Leigh Wooden at Elland Street or the Metropolis Floor has been mooted, as have States-side unification bouts in opposition to WBC champion Mark Magsayo or WBO belt-holder Emanuel Navarrete.
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