At the age of 35, Kiko Martinez defied the odds and knocked out Kid Galahad in the sixth round of their fight to become IBF Featherweight Champion.
After seven long years, Martinez was able to capture gold in another division against the recent champion in Galahad. Inside the Utilta Arena in England, Martinez needed to take down Galahad twice to reign supreme. It was not easy, but the Spanish fighter was able to get the job done.
“It may be a surprise for everyone else but not for me,” Martinez stated after the fight (h/t BoxingScene). “For the last three years I have been living like a monk, I’ve had no holidays, no time with my family, no days off, 365 days of the year I have been working... I am now in better shape than ever, better than when I was 20 years of age, I’m more dedicated, I think I have done big things tonight.”
Martinez was a huge underdog heading into the fight, and the beginning of the bout showed why. Galahad punished Martinez with combination shots in the first and would punish the latter in the corner. Uppercuts and inside body shots by Galahad soon followed. Round two saw jabs by Galahad followed by more combinations. Martinez was able to plant a right that backed Galahad up, but he would miss his next few attempted shots. That allowed Galahad to press forward.
Galahad would push Martinez back with jabs and body shots. He would continue with uppercuts as the fight went on, and Martinez would end up getting cut below his eye. Martinez's landed shots would only come in spurts as Galahad appeared in control.
Round five is where things got interesting. While both were playing it close to the vest, Martinez would land the much more efficient inside shots. He would then land an overhand right that dropped Galahad.
The crowd was shocked but relieved when Galahad got up before the end of the round. It appeared as though the fight could have ended there, however, as Galahad was unable to recover.
At the beginning of round six, Martinez landed another big shot that put Galahad out for the count.
Before this fight, Martinez lost the tenth fight of his career to start 2021 against Zelfa Barrett. He would beat Jayro Duran in September, before taking the title fight right away. This was his first major title win since beating Jonatan Romero for the IBF Super-Bantamweight Title in 2013.
Galahad is now 2-2 in his last four fights. He won the IBF Title against Jazza Dickens back in August after failing to beat Josh Warrington for it in 2019. There is a chance a rematch clause is in place and Galahad takes it.