On Saturday, February 27, at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, in a fight televised live on Showtime Championship Boxing, WBA Super World featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz (30-0-1, 17 KOs), aka “El Terremoto,” the undefeated gunslinger from Rosemead, California, by way of Huetamo, Michoacán de Ocampo, Mexico, defends his title against former IBF super bantamweight champion Kiko “Sensación” Martinez (35-6, 26 KOs), from Alicante, Comunidad Valenciana, Spain.
“I always do my best to give the fans great fights,” Santa Cruz told the LA Times, “and that’s what I’ll try to do in this one too. Kiko is an opponent who’s perfect to give that kind of fight. Kiko has good power. He comes forward, never backs down, trying to land those big hooks. A fight against him is going to be very exciting and entertaining.”
Santa Cruz is the favorite going in, but Kiko Martinez is no slouch.
A three-time European champion at 122 pounds, he’s a come-forward, aggressive-minded slugger who has fought in Ireland, England, Japan, Argentina, France and South Africa.
“I was very happy and very emotional when I heard about this fight,” said Martinez. “I’m thrilled to be fighting Leo Santa Cruz, but getting this fight was a total surprise because I already had been scheduled to fight for the European title. When this opportunity came up, I decided to give up the European title to come to America.”
The fight against “El Terremoto” will be Kiko’s first fight in the U.S.
“It was one of the best days of my life when I agreed to fight Santa Cruz. I’m excited for the challenge. It’s a huge fight in the United States and a great opportunity. Now, more boxing fans will get to see me. Some people don’t think I can fight because I lost to those guys (WBA champ Scott Quigg and IBF champ Carl Frampton), but they are wrong. I am as determined as ever. I will not take one step back. I have a ton of respect for Leo Santa Cruz. He’s a world champion and a great fighter who’s clearly one of the very best featherweights in the world. But I’m going to fight a great fight and come out with a victory.”
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.