Frampton handed Martinez test

  • Last Updated: December 12 2012, 14:40 GMT

Carl Frampton will clash with European champion Kiko Martinez in Belfast on February 9.

Carl Frampton: Will face Kiko Martinez in February

The Northern Irishman, who has twice seen fights with the Spaniard called off previously, will put his IBF inter-continental strap on the line in a bill labelled 'Unfinished Business'.

And after beating late stand-in Steve Molitor in September, Frampton says the extra time will help in his efforts to beat the 26-year-old Martinez, who has a new promoter in namesake Sergio, the WBC middleweight champion.

"He's pulled out on me twice so I have a score to settle with him there," said Frampton. "It's a great fight for the fans and one that I have craved for a long time.

"I had too much for Steve Molitor and he was a step-up, so I am confident I can beat Kiko and do so in style.

"Martinez pulling out in September was a blessing in disguise really as I have been able to mature and learn even more and on February in front of another packed crowd at home, I'm looking to make another statement ahead at the start of a big year."

The fight will headline a massive night of boxing in Belfast, to be shown on Sky Sports as Martin Lindsay faces Lee Selby for the British and Commonwealth featherweight titles, a hotly anticipated fight that was cancelled at the 11th hour on the Frampton-Molitor undercard when Selby fell ill.

"I am delighted that Carl and Kiko will finally fight," said promoter Eddie Hearn. "It has been a long time coming but it is a great fight and one that we felt had to happen for Carl.

"Kiko has settled well with Sergio, who is a great fighter and a great man and I think this is going to kick-off another big year for Carl in Belfast in style.

"Lee pulling out ill last time we were in Belfast was unfortunate but these things happen in boxing and they cannot be helped.

"Their fight was one of the most eagerly awaited bouts of 2012 when we announced it and I am sure it will live up to its billing."

Frampton's manager Barry McGuigan added: "We're pleased this fight is going to happen. I've always said that Kiko is a danger from first bell to last and I believe it's a harder fight than Molitor.

"Styles make fights and this one is going to be a barn-burner, and the team is confident that Carl will win, and win in style."

Martinez is well known to UK fight fans following two memorable fights with Rendall Munroe - both of which he lost on points.


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