/ Boxing

Martinez confident of upsetting Dunne

Updated: Monday, 16 Jul 2007 22:53

Bernard Dunne's next showdown will be with Kiko Martinez
Bernard Dunne's next showdown will be with Kiko Martinez

Spain's Kiko Martinez is confident of upsetting Bernard Dunne at the Point Depot next month and taking the unbeaten Dubliner's European super bantamweight title.

Martinez, nicknamed 'La Sensación', boasts an unblemished record of 16 straight wins - 13 of them knockout successes - and feels he has the arsenal to shock the hometown favourite.

'This is the fight I've wanted for a long time,' the 21-year-old said at a press conference to announce the August 25 fight.

'I might be a little shorter than Bernard bit I’m 5 foot 4 inches of a headache for him.

'I have never lost a fight. I had 40 amateur fights and was never beaten and I won 38 of those by knockout. I could have gone to the Olympics - the Spanish amateur boxing association wanted me to sign a four-year contract but I wanted to turn professional.

'I'm looking forward to fighting in Dublin. I have boxed in front of big crowds before and I like to fight under pressure,' he added.

'Bernard is a good champion but I don’t think he has boxed anyone like me and I am confident that I can win.'

Dunne, who was at Croke Park yesterday to cheer Dublin to their third Leinster football title in a row, has had two successful defences of his EBU crown against Yersin Jailauov and Reidar Walstad.

Undoubtedly the most eagerly awaited fight of his six-year pro career, Dunne knows the tricky Spaniard has been on his radar for some time.

'Everyone has been talking about this fight for the past six months or so. Even before my last two fights all people wanted to know was when was I fighting Mr. Martinez. Well it’s on now and I can't wait,' admitted the Neilstown native.

'Kiko was at the John Duddy fight on Saturday night and sampled a little piece of the atmosphere but that was only a taster - wait until he steps into the Point on August 25.'

It will be Martinez's first fight outside of Spain and Dunne, who is currently ranked in the top ten in the WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO rankings, reckons he is a notch above the Spaniard - both as a technican and all-out fighter.

'Kiko has a big reputation and is supposed to be a bit of a puncher but I’m the champion and he’s coming to my town so I'll let him worry about me. He's coming outside of Spain for the first time and he’s never fought anyone in my class so let’s see what happens when someone starts hitting him back.

'I'll be looking to let my class and technical ability show but if it turns into a fight then that suits me too because I love to get down in the trenches,' said the 27-year-old.

'My coach Harry (Hawkins) would prefer if I used my boxing ability and kept my distance, but sometimes you have to get up close and personal.'

Both Dunne and Martinez were in Dublin today to sign contracts for one of the biggest fights in the history of Irish boxing history. The bout is a co-promotion between Brian Peters Promotions and Dennis Hobson, Ricky Hatton's promoter, and Team Magee.

A second title fight on the August 25 card will see history being made when Belfast's Brian Magee challenges for Tony Oakey’s British light heavyweight title - it will be the first British title fight to ever take place in the Republic of Ireland.

Brian Peters, Dunne's manager, said: 'I'm delighted that with the backing of RTE and Hunky Dorys we’ve ensured that the biggest fight of Bernard’s career will take place in his hometown.

'This is a massive fight and one that all Ireland has been waiting for. Martinez is 16 and 0 with 13 knockouts so it’s a case of somebody’s '0' has got to go.'

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