/ Boxing

Dunne ready to take on the world

Updated: Friday, 24 Aug 2007 14:17

Bernard Dunne views Kiko Martinez as a stepping stone to a world championship bout
Bernard Dunne views Kiko Martinez as a stepping stone to a world championship bout

Watch Bernard Dunne take on Kiko Martinez live on RTÉ Two and online at www.rte.ie/sport (worldwide) from 9.30pm. The programme also features Belfast's Brian Magee challenge for the British Light Heavyweight title and Matthew Macklin's return to the ring in Dublin.

Irish star Bernard Dunne believes he will launch himself onto the world stage with a successful defence of his European super-bantamweight title tomorrow night.

Dunne is preparing for the hardest test of his career when he makes a mandatory defence against Spain's Kiko Martinez, who is unbeaten in 16 fights with 13 knockouts, in Dublin's Point arena.

The Dubliner has already become the most popular Irish fighters since his hero Barry McGuigan ruled the world of boxing and he wants to follow in his footsteps.

Dunne will be making the third defence of the title he won with a points decision over Sheffield's Esham Pickering last year and he expects Martinez to pose him some problems.

'His record shows that he is a big puncher and I have seen some tapes when he has knocked a few guys out cold. It's the fight that everyone has been waiting to see - to see how I handle him,' said Dunne, who is ranked in the top 10 by all the major governing bodies.

'Once I do beat him I think the rest of the world will sit up and take notice and I'll be on the radar of the four main world champions.

'But you know people say that he is a step up for me but I would say that this fight is a huge step up for Martinez because he hasn't fought anyone like me.

'He hasn't fought anyone in my class and he has to come and try and take my title in Dublin so let's see how he handles it.

'I won't be standing in front of him letting him hit me - I'll be moving all the time, making him work and keeping him under pressure, keeping him thinking.'

Dunne also feels that the passionate Irish crowd will play a part in victory for their hero as well.

'Martinez will not know what's hit him. He'll be wetting himself when he hears the crowd,' added Dunne.

'I don't care who you are, that crowd gets to you and he has never been on this stage before where I have and I know how to handle it.

'It's going to be an exciting fight but there's no way I'm letting him get away with my title when I've worked so hard to get to where I am and with a world title so close.

'I try not to think too much about a world title because I have to concentrate on Martinez but I know I'm not too far away from it and I'm ready to fight any of the world champions.'