Kiko Martinez announces retirement after 19 year career

Spanish boxing legend Kiko Martinez has decided to hang up the gloves after an extraordinary near 20 year boxing career. 

Martinez took to his social media to relay an emotional message regarding his retirement at 37 years old. 

“The time has come,” Martinez said this weekend through his social media account. “I want to announce that it is time to say goodbye to boxing. I just want to say thank you to everyone, especially my family.”

Martinez (44-12-2, 31 KOs) fought out of Elche, Alicante in Spain, winning the world title in two separate weight classes. He claimed the IBF super bantamweight world title in 2013 with a 6th round stoppage over the undefeated Jonathan Romero in Atlantic City. He would defend the title twice, finishing off his first title run with a victory over Hozumi Hasegawa in Japan. Martinez would lose the belt against Carl Frampton in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 2014. 

He would challenge for a second world title a year later, losing by 2nd round knockout to Scott Quigg. A shot at Leo Santa Cruz for the WBA featherweight title came just eight months later, but was again unsuccessful losing by a 5th round stoppage. 

European silverware followed in 2018 with a points victory over Marc Vidal in his native Spain. Another crack at world glory arose when Gary Russell Jr. offered him a shot at the WBC title at featherweight. He lost by a 5th round TKO in what many thought would be his last attempt at gaining a world belt. 

However, after three and a half Martinez was drafted in to face Kid Galahad, in what was meant to be a routine defense of his IBF featherweight title. La Sensacion was sensational in Sheffield, ripping the title off the Englishman with an impressive 6th round stoppage victory. He would lose the title to Josh Warrington in his first defense, but came back to England getting a knockout win over Jordan Gill to win the European title. His final bout came in Japan this past April against Reiya Abe losing the unanimous decision. A sub-par performance saw Martinez lose the fight convincingly.

Martinez came to prominence in 2007 defeating ‘Ireland’s favourite son’ Bernard Dunne to claim his first of many European titles. The fresh faced Martinez came to Dublin with a full head of hair to knock out the Irishman in the 1st round. 

Carl Frampton took to social media to show his gratitude to the Spanish legend: “Spain's greatest ever fighter has just announced his retirement. I've a lot of respect for the majority of my opponents but none more than @MartnezKiko. Enjoy your retirement Campeón.” The pair shared the ring twice in Frampton’s Belfast.