IBF junior featherweight titleholder Kiko Martinez of Spain will pursue his fifth straight knockout win in his fourth defense on September 6 against Northern Ireland’s Carl Frampton, who handed Martinez his last loss by ninth-round stoppage in February 2013.
Promoted by Sampson Lewkowicz, Martinez (31-4, 23 knockouts) is coming off a seventh-round technical knockout of ex-titleholder Hozumi Hasegawa in April during which he scored one knockdown each in the second and final rounds in Japan.
Hasegawa had won the WBC's bantamweight belt by unanimous decision over Veeraphol Sahaprom in April of 2005 and defended it 10 times. Seven of those wins came via stoppage.
Prior to Hasegawa, Martinez, 28, was last in action for December's ninth-round knockout of South African former titleholder Jeffrey Mathebula in defense of the title he won by dethroning previously unbeaten Jhonatan Romero via sixth-round TKO in August of 2013.
In his last fight in April, the 27-year-old Frampton (18-0, 13 KOs) scored his fourth straight stoppage in the second round against Hugo Fidel Cazares.
"When Kiko fought Carl Frampton the first time, he was out of his rhythm. But I took over Martinez's career when he fought Romero," said Lewkowicz, who received the IBF's approval for the bout yesterday.
"Martinez had problems the first time with being underpaid and he had not been trained properly or had the resources to have a real training camp. That is not the case now. He has great trainers this time with Gabriel and Pablo Sarmiento and that will make a difference this time."
HBO TO AIR SECOND EPISODE OF SERGIO MARTINEZ-MIGUEL COTTO 24/7 ON SATURDAY
HBO's second telecast of 24/7: Cotto-Martinez will air on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT in advance of Saturday's fight between RING and WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez and three-division titlewinner Miguel Cotto at Madison Square Garden in New York City.