By Jonny Stapleton
KIKO Martinez will present Carl Frampton with the opportunity to become super bantamweight champion of Europe in Belfast this summer- provided the Spaniard emerges unscathed from mandatory defence in France this weekend.
The three time European champion defends against Arsen Martirosyan in Lyon on March 3 and having beaten the Armenian fighter in Dublin late last year is confident of retaining his continental crown.
If ‘Mini Tyson’ does re strap the famous blue belt around his waist on Saturday he is then willing to put it on the line against ‘The Jakal’ and is eager to do so in Belfast.
Martinez, who has significant Irish previous having beaten Bernard Dunne in a round, is now managed by Belfast’s Pat Magee, meaning the fight should be easy enough to make.
Irish boxing’s fastest rising star, Frampton was due to face the knock out specialist last September, but Martinez pulled out for personal reason, in turn raising doubts re his desire to defend against Barry McGuigan’s protégé.
However Pat Magee told Mirror Sport Team Kiko are targeting a summer showdown with Commonwealth champion.
“Kiko faces Martirosvan on March 3. Having beaten him comfortably already he is confident he can do it again. After that he has the opportunity to do a couple of voluntary defences. The obvious one for us is a European title fight with Frampton. Kiko will fight Frampton if Frampton’s team want it and more to the point Kiko is more than willing to come to Belfast.” said Magee.
Team Frampton certainly want the bout and promoter Eddie Hearn told Mirror Sport earlier this month he is targeting Martinez, Willie Casey or Rendall Munroe for a summer homecoming for the undefeated Belfast Boy-who defends his Commonweatlh crown in Shefield on March 17.