Martinez Flips The Script

Wins In Six

Credit: Badlefthook

I was all prepared to write this DAZN main event of Kid Galahad v Kiko Martinez up as an easy Galahad defense of his IBF Featherweight Title. I’m not going to be doing that now. And that’s the delight of boxing.

DAZN Gets The Bird

With some people, there were complaints about this card. About it not being exciting enough. But why shouldn’t they pick up a local champ and push him with a local crowd? And this was a dual card too, another one took place elsewhere, so why people are ragging on Eddie Hearn, I don’t know. He and DAZN are producing regular cards, in different countries with interesting boxers to get to know. All for £7.99 per month in the UK, so I’m not sure what the carping is about.

That being said, who thought this would go well for Kiko Martinez? 35 years old, many more rounds boxed, a world champion but a few years ago, a winner in a good display against Jayro Duran with a unanimous decision in September. He’s wily, but no one thought things were going to be that easy tonight.

The Fight

For the first two rounds, it seemed that way. Galahad came out behind the jab in the 1st round, with some urgency, moving around freely, pushing Martinez onto the ropes, Kid picking his shots.

Martinez knocks down Galahad

That continued in the next, the champ getting the time to look for some shots, choose his work, boxers don’t often get that luxury. An uppercut followed by a straight punch got through, the uppercut was good for him too. Galahad was in the pocket, staying there and looking so comfortable he could virtually make a sandwich and put the TV on.

This was going to be a breeze.

Next round, the 3rd, Martinez came out stronger, which might have been difficult if Galahad didn’t have such good movement. He was countering Kiko whenever the surges came. In fact, that movement was so good Galahad was finding opportunities to counter and make his work, quite easily. I was concerned this would be no thrills fight at this point. At the end of the 3rd, Martinez looked at his opponent as if to say ‘oh, I see…’ The sight of Kiko in his corner between rounds breathing heavily and having a cut by his right eye worked on seemed to be indicative. Surely this wouldn’t take long. Would it?

Martinez decided to put in on the line in Round 4. He had better movement and pushed the champ back a bit. He worked better with his head movement and got some punches through, Galahad may have taken this round off but didn’t look in any trouble, how could he when his wonderful switching from orthodox to southpaw was bothering Martinez so much.

Galahad v Martinez
Credit: DAZN

The next round, Martinez seemed to think there was something in it for him. He worked to try to mess up Galahad’s rhythm, cut the gap, bully him a little; Galahad was on the back foot a little more. A slight concern at the back of the mind. And then Galahad was down. A peach of an overhand right from Martinez, it was snappy and accurate, but it wouldn’t have connected if Galahad’s movement hadn’t disappeared. His chin was in the air, Martinez found it. And the bell sounded just after the count. Galahad saved.

But not for long. The champ came out for the 6th round looking like he didn’t know what to do. Martinez smelled blood. And immediately smacked him with another right hand. The champ was out, spark out. Kid Galahad v Kiko Martinez. What a surprise. And it was Galahad’s fault.

Why Was That?

He switched off. Talk Sport agreed;

However, in the final seconds of the fifth Galahad allowed himself to become complacent and was floored with a massive overhand right.’

It was too comfortable and it looked like Martinez had no way in. But he found one. He tried to grind his way in. And any boxer is dangerous, no matter how old or beat up.

Galahad was a champ. You do not switch off. Ever.

What’s Next For Martinez?

I can’t see him holding this title for long. He can’t turn back the tide of age and rounds fought. Tonight he was losing the fight until Galahad gave him a huge chance. He hit a peach of a shot and followed it up with a finisher’s punch. But there aren’t many who will allow him that.

He said to The Mirror:

I’ve been prepared for this and worked really hard for three years. I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been, better than when I was 20 years of age.’

I’m not convinced about that last sentence and he didn’t show it tonight. This could be the last hurrah. I hope he enjoys every minute.

What’s Next For Galahad?

Eddie Hearn told the Evening Standard:

It was such a one-sided fight. It was beat-down, a masterclass. One punch changes everything. Wow. That was a brutal right-hand finish’

And we should ask at this point what’s next for Hearn and Matchroom? He’s had a few champion reversals recently. But that’s boxing for you.

Kid Galahad

Galahad? He’s young. It was a surprise. His only other loss was to Josh Warrington. He will come again. But he has been shown here to be a little brittle. No one expected Martinez to win this fight. No one expected Kid Galahad v Kiko Martinez to give him trouble. Kiko is a wily veteran but he didn’t need that here. Galahad gifted him the win. That affects fans, boxers themselves, and matchmakers. As Radiohead might have it, tonight this Kid was not A.

Written by Steve Swift

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