Betting Preview: Kid Galahad can defend IBF world title on home soil

Veteran Spaniard Kiko Martinez stands between a first successful world title defence for Kid Galahad in Sheffield.

Kid Galahad will defend his IBF world featherweight title on his home patch in Sheffield on November 13 against Kiko Martinez.

The 35-year-old Spaniard stands in the way of Galahad announcing himself in a stacked division.

Galahad's dominant 11th-round win over Jazza Dickens in August saw him claim the IBF crown and a win over the well-travelled Martinez will propel him closer to some big match-ups. The likes of Emmanuel Navarretes, Mauricio Lara and fellow Brit Leigh Wood are all future possibilities.

Galahad will come into the contest full of confidence having slowly dismantled familiar foe Dickens in August this year.

The 31-year-old, who has just one defeat on his record, dominated the fight at the Matchroom Fight Camp in Essex.

Speaking afterwards on BBC Radio 5 Live, British heavyweight Dillian Whyte said: "Dickens is a brave man but I think they made him take too much punishment. His nose went, his eyes went, but his corner should have protected him better."

Dickens picked up a cut above his right eye in the first round from an apparent clash of heads. And Galahad poured on the pressure from there on in with a jab that kept Dickens at arm's length.

Galahad's higher punch output was noticeable and with blood streaming from the nose of his opponent in round six the writing was on the wall for the Liverpool fighter.

Battered and bruised, the referee waved off the contest, which had been gradual but no doubt a demolition job.

Having beaten Dickens in the 10th round in 2013, Galahad got the fight finished in the 11th when his corner eventually refused to send him out for the final round.

A brief moment in the seventh when Galahad switched off and was caught with a couple of left hands gave Dickens brief hope. But, that only spurred on the Qatar-born fighter who responded with a sweet left hook, before getting things done in the penultimate round.

It was a comprehensive victory for Galahad, whose only defeat to date came against fellow Brit Josh Warrington in May 2019.

'Galahad put it all on the line'

Galahad, though, was more than a match for the Leeds-born Warrington and could well have found himself on the right end of the split decision on another night.

Both promoter Eddie Hearn and super middleweight Billy Joe Saunders thought Galahad had done enough to win.

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Hearn said: "Head up Kid Galahad. Clear winner tonight."

Saunders added: "Robbery. Kid Galahad put it all on the line."

Galahad will face a tough opponent in Martinez, who at 35, still looked hungry in his recent win over Jayro Duran in September.

Warrington v Martinez

Like Galahad, Martinez has also been beaten by Warrington.

The two squared off in May 2017 in the backyard of Warrington and the home fighter again got the vote on the scorecards.

Warrington did deserve the victory this time though, with his higher work-rate and cleaner shots getting him the vote over the Spaniard with scores of 116-112, 116-112 and 114-114.

With those two fights against Warrington taken into account it's no surprise to see Galahad the favourite for the bout at 1/11.

But that price does seem a touch short considering Martinez's track record.

Prior to the win over Duran, he put up a superb show against British prospect Zelfa Barrett. On the undercard to Warrington's defeat to Lara in February 2021, Martinez battled hard and put in a tireless performance against the Manchester fighter.

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But, the judges seemed to see it differently. Steve Gray and Bob Williams somehow scored the contest 118-111 in Barrett's favour, while Howard Foster had it 116-113 for the home fighter.

"Zelfa's our fighter and it was a close fight," Hearn said. "But 118-111 is absolutely disgusting for Kiko Martinez.

"How are we gonna bring foreign fighters to this country when they get absolutely zero credit for their performance?"

Galahad looks ready to defend his title, but he will undoubtedly have to go the distance against the wily Martinez and hope that both his jab and shots are the cleaner against an opponent who will relentlessly come forward.

When, where and what's on the line?

When: Saturday, November 13, ring walk 10pm UK time.

Where: Sheffield Arena, Yorkshire.

What's on the line: Galahad defends his IBF featherweight world title for the first time.

How to watch: via the DAZN App, from 6pm.

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