Kiko Martinez vs Reiya Abe Preview April 8th, 2023
Former IBF Featherweight and Super Bantamweight Champion Kiko Martinez of Spain takes on Reiya Abe of Japan this Saturday, April 8th. The 12-round featherweight bout from Tokyo is being billed as an IBF eliminator and can be seen live in America on ESPN+ while fans in Canada can catch the action on the TSN+ app and Spanish fans can see it on DAZN with the card set to get underway about 3am ET. Martinez last fought in October when he stopped Jordan Gill in the fourth round for the European Featherweight Title after losing his IBF Featherweight Title by seventh-round stoppage to Josh Warrington seven months earlier. Martinez has won the belt in his previous bout with a sixth-round upset knockout of Kid Galahad. Abe last boxed in December when he beat Jinki Maeda by a 12-round majority decision to retain his Japanese and WBO Asian Featherweight Titles.
Martinez vs Abe Betting Odds
- Kiko Martinez +135
- Reiya Abe -165
The 37-year-old Martinez owns a mark of 44-11-2 with 31 Ko’s to his name. He’s usually fallen just short when fighting the elite of his weight divisions against boxers such as Gary Russell Jr, Carl Frampton, Scott Quigg, Josh Warrington, Leo Santa Cruz, Rendall Munroe and Takalani Ndlovu but of course hit the jackpot against Kid Galahad in 2021 to claim a world title.
He has his fair share of losses as Frampton and Munroe each beat him twice while Frampton stopped him once as did Russell, Quigg, Santa Cruz and Warrington. He also dropped a 12-round unanimous decision to Zelfa Barrett in February, 2021. Martinez had also won the IBF Super Bantamweight Belt in 2013 by stopping Jonathan Romero in the sixth round.
He defended it against Jeffrey Mathebula and Hozumi Hasegawa by knockout before losing it to Frampton by unanimous decision. He’s also beaten Bernard Dunne, Arsen Matirosyan and Jason Booth as a pro while his two draws were with Eusebio Osejo over eight rounds in 2016 and a three-round technical affair with Marc Vidal two years later. Along the way Martinez has also captured the European Super Bantamweight Title a couple of times as well as the and WBO Latino Super Bantamweight Crown.
It appeared Martinez was in the twilight of his career before beating Galahad but was brought back to earth with his loss against Warrington. Martinez’s fights are usually exciting due to his power and unsteady chin as he has 31 Ko’s in 44 wins and has been stopped in five of his 11 defeats. His current knockout ratio sits at 54.4 per cent and he stands 5-feet-5-inches tall with a 66-inch reach and has 337 rounds under his belt since making his pro debut in 2004.
Abe is a 30-year-old southpaw who enters the ring with a mark of 24-3-1 with 10 Ko’s and is a former All Japan Rookie of 2014. He’s got 168 rounds of experience under his belt since making his pro debut in 2013. his first defeat came in his second pro outing when Kobi Kobayashi beat him by four-round unanimous decision in 2013 while his second loss was to Shingo Kusano via a six-round majority decision in 2015. He then dropped a 10-round unanimous decision to Ryo Sagawa for the vacant Japanese Featherweight Title in 2019.
His lone draw was also in 2019 when he battled Taiki Minomoto in a 10-round affair. Abe has held the Japanese and WBO Asia Pacific Featherweight Titles as a pro but hasn’t really faced any world-class contenders as of yet so could arguably be taking a step up in class against Martinez this weekend. As far as power goes, Abe doesn’t really possess heavy hands as his current knockout ratio stands at 35.7 per cent.
It’s hard to imagine Martinez outboxing Abe at this stage of their careers but he certainly has the power to stop him if he lands on the chin. Martinez always has a puncher’s chance and that makes it hard to count him out of any fight. He doesn’t really possess the greatest chin but Abe isn’t known for his power. Martinez is 37 years old and logic may point towards an Abe victory at home here, but I’m going to go with Martinez in a mild upset.
Martinez’s power could result in victory.
Play: Martinez +135 @ BetOnline.ag
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