One of the truly great representatives of Spanish boxing in recent years, Kiko Martínez, has announced his retirement from the sport. After almost 20 years as a professional, he made the announcement in an emotional interview on the TeleElx Radio Marca on Thursday.
As an amateur in Daya Nuevo, coached for many years by Alberto González, young Kiko was achieving great feats many years before the world would get to see his talent.
He fought in 40 amateur bouts and never lost a single one, with 38 of those victories coming by knockout.
He could so easily have been an Olympian, and according to Martinez, “I could have gone to the Olympics – the Spanish amateur boxing association wanted me to sign a four-year contract but I wanted to turn professional.”
The Spaniard was a double European champion at two weights and world champion in two categories – super bantamweight and featherweight. He always stood out for being an aggressive boxer and puncher, with a great combat rhythm.
After many years training at the Daya Nuevo Boxing Club with Alberto, fighting locally on boxing shows around the local area, he established a cult following, but on making the split and moving to the Elche Boxing Club, although he went on to establish himself on the international stage, he lost a lot of that following.
Nevertheless it was from Elche that he gained most of his success, with many great fights against boxers such as Carl Frampton, Scott Quig, Leo Santa Cruz, Josh Warrington, Gary Russell Jr., and Kid Galahad.
On his Instagram account, Kiko wrote an emotional message addressed to all his followers.
“24 years ago I asked my parents to sign me up for boxing and since that day I have not stopped. I did it with the aim of being a world champion and being able to buy a house. I have not stopped thinking about what to say. Everything is incredible that I have lived in boxing… I just want to thank everyone, especially my friends, family, my wife, who has been supporting me from the beginning, and all the sponsors that have supported me in victory and defeat. Now it is time to say goodbye to boxing and leave healthily from this beautiful sport that I love so much”.
So, on Thursday, at the age of 37, he leaves boxing with 44 wins, 12 losses and 31 knockouts.
Despite his departure from professional boxing, however, Martínez will continue to be linked to boxing, since he is training his nephew, Sergio Martínez, with everything aiming at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games
Roll of Honour
European-EU super-bantamweight title
2x European super-bantamweight title
WBO Latino interim super-bantamweight title
WBC Latino super-bantamweight title
IBF World super-bantamweight title
2x European featherweight title
IBF World featherweight title