Kiko Martinez announces his retirement from professional boxing at the age of 37

After nearly two decades in the boxing ring, Kiko Martinez, a former two-division champion, announced his retirement via Twitter yesterday.

Martinez, who arguably stands as the most accomplished Spanish fighter in history, enjoyed several reigns as the European super bantamweight champion before achieving international recognition in 2013 by delivering a knockout blow to the previously undefeated Jhonatan Romero, securing the IBF title. He successfully defended his championship against Jeffrey Mathebula and Hozumi Hasegawa before encountering Carl Frampton once again, who convincingly defeated Martinez in a one-sided decision, making it 2-0 against him.

This marked the beginning of what could be termed as the "designated opponent" phase of his career. Martinez struggled to maintain consistent success outside of his native Spain, facing defeats against the likes of Scott Quigg, Josh Warrington, Leo Santa Cruz, and Gary Russell Jr. However, in 2021, Martinez experienced a resurgence, arguably defeating Zelfa Barrett before suffering a highly contentious decision loss that even drew criticism from Eddie Hearn. Two fights later, he secured his most significant victory in seven years by dominating Kid Galahad in just two rounds. Although he later lost his newly acquired IBF featherweight title in a rematch with Josh Warrington, during which he endured numerous headbutts and even broke Warrington's jaw, Martinez quickly rebounded with a dominant performance against Jordan Gill.

His impressive accomplishments included one final title eliminator against Reiya Abe, which resulted in a decision loss in April.

Kiko Martinez has much to be proud of in his career. While winning titles in two weight divisions is impressive in itself, his journey from being a fighter who often faced top-level opponents to regaining legitimate champion status is exceptionally rare. Kudos to him for recognizing the signs and retiring while he still possesses his mental faculties. Wishing the champ a safe and fulfilling retirement.

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