By Scott Gilfoid: Former IBF 122lb champion Kiko Martinez is predicting a victory for IBF super bantamweight champion Carl Frampton (21-0, 14 KOs) in his unification match against WBA World 122lb champion Scott Quigg (31-0-2, 23 KOs) in 11 days from now on February 27 at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, UK.
Martinez, 29, has a pretty good idea of what both fighters are capable of doing inside the ring, as he’s lost to both guys by knockout. Frampton twice beat Martinez in 2013 and 2014. Quigg defeated Martinez last year in stopping him in the 2nd round in July 2015.
To Martinez’s credit, he’s won his last three fights since then and will be challenging for a world title on February 27 against the talented WBA Super World featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
“Frampton will win against Quigg,” Martinez said to skysports.com. “He’s the more complete boxer. He is stronger as well. Some people don’t think I can fight because I lost to those guys [Frampton and Quigg], but they are wrong. I am as determined as ever. I’m going to fight a great fight and come out with a victory.”
It’s interesting that Martinez is selecting Frampton to win this fight because Quigg stopped him much faster than Frampton did in their first fight in 2013. Frampton halted Martinez in nine rounds. In their rematch in 2014, Frampton beat Martinez by a 12 round unanimous decision. Quigg stopped Martinez in the 2nd round last year in July. As such, you would have to assume that Quigg is the better fighter if he was able to get a faster knockout over Martinez. Quigg didn’t look so hot before scoring the stoppage over Martinez, however. Martinez was doing well up until the time he was clipped by a big shot from Quigg in the 2nd round of their fight.
“I would like to stay at this weight because I feel much stronger. But I would definitely love a rematch with Frampton or Quigg,” Martinez said.
Martinez might actually be right about his prediction. I think Frampton will win this fight because he can do more than just slug.
I think Martinez might have second thoughts about wanting to stay at featherweight after he finds out how hard champion Santa Cruz punches. Once Martinez tastes Santa Cruz’s punching power, I see him wanting to go back down to 122 where the punchers are weaker, and the fighters arguably less talented. The featherweight division is loaded with high quality talents like Gary Russell Jr., Vasyl Lomachenko, Abner Mares and Jesus Andres Cuellar.
At super bantamweight, there’s really only Guillermo Rigondeaux and Nonito Doniare in terms of talented fighters. You can’t say that Frampton and Quigg are talented fighters because they still haven’t faced anyone good yet and I’m not sure that they ever will. Neither guy is showing signs of wanting to fight Rigondeaux.
So we’re probably looking at career-long paper champions in the weight class without either of them ever proving whether they have the talent to mix it up with the best in the division.