LEEDS, ENGLAND — Josh Warrington is the new IBF world featherweight champion after stopping Kiko Martinez in round seven in front of a sold-out crowd at the First Direct Arena in Leeds.
In his first win in over a year, Warrington came out like a raging bull in the first round. Throwing quick combinations and huge left hooks, Martinez was subject to a mass assault by "The Leeds Warrior" and knocked down to the canvas. Warrington continued to assert his dominance on Martinez, playing with the Spaniard like he was a child's soft toy in the second.
Calmness then ensued, and while Martinez looked to land the right hand which won him the IBF belt against Kid Galahad last November, Warrington's loyal fanbase roared him through.
As expected, with the fast start, Warrington had slowed down significantly. This gave Martinez brief hope he could do something in the fight, and he did start to land some punches. But there was one area of huge concern, a cut near Martinez's left eye. Warrington began to find his speed and power in round seven after being subjected to some Martinez body shots in the sixth.
After rocking Martinez early on, Warrington unleashed another barrage of quick combinations. He then backed up Martinez onto the ropes like he did for most of the fight and unloaded before the referee ended the contest.
Warrington collapsed to his knees in both celebration and relief. This was an opportunity he didn't see coming, becoming a two-time world champion so quickly after a loss and a draw to Mauricio Lara.
There will be some huge nights to come. Whether it be a unification fight with WBA champion Leigh Wood, the long-awaited pilgrimage to America, or a trilogy fight with Lara. Warrington and his fans will march on together towards whatever opponent stands in their way.
Re-live the best moments from tonight's card below.