On May 13th, Josh Warrington makes his long-awaited return to the ring for his BoxNation debut against former World Champion Kiko Martinez, in front of what is sure to be a partisan crowd in Leeds.
Double gold medallist and the first woman to win an Olympic boxing title, Nicola Adams, also makes her homecoming appearance at the First Direct Arena and will be sure to receive a hero’s welcome in West Yorkshire.
Warrington (24-0, 5 KOs) joined Frank Warren’s stable towards the end of the 2016 and is hoping to secure a World Title shot this year, with two possible UK showdowns against Carl Frampton and Lee Selby being discussed.
Having not fought since last July, ‘The Leeds Warrior’ must first navigate past experienced operator Martinez before challenging one of the Featherweight rulers. He has built up somewhat of a cult following in Leeds, with large numbers of the United faithful coming out in droves to support their man.
Martinez (36-7-1, 26 KOs) became IBF World Super-Bantamweight Champion in 2013 and made two defences before losing the belt to Carl Frampton in Belfast. The 30-year-old’s other UK outing was also unsuccessful, losing to Scott Quigg in July 2015.
The Spaniard has also mixed with the likes of Leo Santa Cruz, and brings bags of World level experience to represent Warrington’s toughest challenge to date. The Leeds man must overcome this hurdle to take the next step towards becoming a World Champion.
Having decided to pursue a professional career, Team GB’s golden girl Nicola Adams and will be eager to impress her local fans in her homecoming fight and show she is on track to replicate her amateur success in the pro game to claim World honours.