By Scott Gilfoid: Promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed that Josh Warrington suffered a broken jaw in the seventh round of his TKO victory over IBF featherweight champion Kiko Martinez last Saturday night at the First Direct Arena in Leeds, England.
Hearn says Warrington’s injury occurred 30 seconds before referee Marcus McDonnell stepped in and stopped the contest due to Martinez taking a flurry of headshots while resting with his back against the ropes in the seventh round.
Kiko’s face sliced to ribbons
Warrington wasn’t the only one injured in the fight, however. Kiko’s face was literally sliced to ribbons, courtesy of Josh’s headfirst style of fighting. Martinez suffered three bad cuts, one over each eye and one on his forehead.
Poor Kiko looked like Frankenstein’s monster by the time the fight ended, and not because of what Warrington had done with his fists.
Repeatedly, Warrington came forward with his head resting against the face of Martinez to do his work on the inside. Although Warrington was warned by the referee for coming in headfirst, it didn’t prevent Kiko from suffering the cuts, which proved to be his undoing.
With blood leaking like a faucet in both eyes, Martinez looked like a blind man looking for the light switch inside the ring from the first round until the bitter end in the seventh.
Why the referee didn’t do the sensible thing and take a point off from Warrington for coming in headfirst all night is the magic question. You would think that at the minimum, Warrington should have had at least one point deduction, given the three cuts that Kiko had sustained.
If the referee was aware of what had happened to Warrington’s last opponent Mauricio Lara being cut badly in the second round of their rematch last September, he should have done the right thing and penalized and if need be, disqualified Josh for the use of his head.
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) March 27, 2022
Moving forward, if you’re WBA Super 126-lb champion Leo Santa Cruz or his promoter, you have to be more than a little concerned at seeing what has happened to Warrington’s last two opponents in terms of them suffering cuts.
Hearn was talking up the idea of Warrington potentially going to the States to fight in Las Vegas, but he might not get the fight that he wants against Santa Cruz after his latest showing against Kiko.
Santa Cruz has better things to do with his career than worry about having his face cut up by Warrington. Leo is probably not going to want to lose out on six to twelve months recovering from the cuts that he sustains from his fight with Warrington, which might not go the distance if the doctor halts the fight.
Warrington’s IBF mandatory due
“It was a brilliant performance from Josh, one of the best in his career,” said promoter Eddie Hearn to iFL TV on Warrington’s seventh-round stoppage win over Kiko Martinez.
“He’s got a mandatory with the IBF, you got Leigh Wood,” Hearn said on who could be next for Warrington. “It’s a guy, Isaac Lowe [that is Warrington’s mandatory with the IBF]. We don’t really want that fight, to be honest with you, but we may have to take that fight,” said Hearn.
Gilfoid wants to know how did Isaac Lowe become Warringtont’s IBF mandatory? Lowe was knocked out in the seventh round in his last fight by Luis Alberto Lopez last December. How in the world is Lowe still the IBF mandatory after that defeat?
The guy that Warrington should be fighting next is Mauricio Lara, given what happened in their rematch last September. Lara knocked Warrington out in the ninth round in their first fight, and then in the rematch, Josh repeatedly rammed heads with the Mexican slugger until his face was cut up.
Regardless of the head clashes being unintentional on Warrington’s part, what’s clear is that they happened because of his head-first style of fighting. More than anyone, Lara should be the one that Warrington fights next, if not Kiko.
“Either way, we’re in the position on Monday to see what he’s going to do. He sits there with a belt around his waist,” said Hearn.
“We have two world champions. Leigh Wood defending his world title and Josh Warrington a new world champion, so it’s been an amazing couple of weeks, but more importantly, two incredible shows, two incredible atmospheres and we’ll see what happens on Monday.
“The atmosphere in the first round and the finish was just incredible. I’m so happy for Josh. He’s had a rough year and a half or so,” said Hearn. “He stayed focused and working hard, and tonight he became a two-time world champion.
Josh’s career would have been over
“I think so,” said Hearn when asked if Warrington’s career would have been over had he lost to Kiko. “I keep saying this in fights because like Josh Warrington and Kiko Martinez operate at the highest level. I think any of them had lost tonight, they would have retired.
“I thought Kiko was brilliant, he was so tough. He didn’t stop trying in the fight. He was always dangerous in the fight as well, and I thought it was a great stoppage as well from Marcus McDonnell.
“Yeah, because he was always dangerous,” Hearn said when asked if he was worried about Warrington getting overanxious in the first round after dropping Kiko.
“Kiko broke Josh Warrington’s jaw about 30 seconds before he stopped him. So, he can punch. He’s brilliant to the body as well, Kiko Martinez. He had two cuts over his eyes, one on his forehead, but he was never going to give up, he was never going to stop trying, and he was always dangerous.
“Even up until the stoppage, I kept thinking that Kiko was dangerous in the fight and had the ability to turn things around,” said Hearn.
As far as I can tell, Kiko didn’t lay a glove on Warrington in the last 30 seconds of the fight. The jaw injury that Josh sustained likely took place in the second round when he got nailed by a hard left hook from Kiko and immediately backed off as if being jolted by a bolt of electricity.