Josh Warrington gets surprise world title shot after his rival rejects rematch

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Josh Warrington has landed a chance to regain the IBF featherweight title against Kiko Martinez.

The Yorkshire man will face the Spaniard on March 26 at Leeds Arena.

Martinez, 35, stunned Warrington's bitter rival Kid Galahad late last year to become champion when he knocked out the Sheffield ace in the sixth round.

Warrington already has a win over Martinez back in 2017 but now he will get a shot at his newly-acquired title.

The Leeds man gave up the IBF belt early last year after growing frustrated at the lack of unification opportunities and the unwillingness to give Galahad had a rematch.

He was stunned by Mauricio Lara in a non-title fight before a technical draw in the rematch denied him revenge after the Mexican suffered a nasty cut.

But he has now got a chance to regain the IBF title after Galahad opted against a rematch with Martinez.

Galahad is expected to move up in weight to super-featherweight after the surprise November defeat by the veteran Spaniard.

The Sheffield star was easily outboxing Martinez but was then hurt in the fifth and floored. He didn't recover and the end came in the sixth.

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  • Josh Warrington only has eyes for big fights in America if he gets past Mauricio Lara

Warrington also has a victory over Galahad but that was a close decision back in 2019.

The Leeds man did not want to give Galahad a rematch as he felt the rivalry was settled.

But he has jumped at the chance of a clash with Martinez, who is now a two-weight world champion.

Warrington won the IBF title by beating Lee Selby in May 2018 at Elland Road.

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He followed it up with an impressive points victory against Belfast's Carl Frampton, who had beaten Martinez twice, before beating Galahad.

Warrington made his final defence against Sofiane Takoucht before he split with promoter Frank Warren, who had helped lead him to world honours.

Under Hearn, he lost to Lara but was handed an immediate rematch at Leeds Rhinos' Headlingley Stadium.

That ended when Lara suffered a nasty cut from an accidental head clash in the second round and was announced as a technical draw.

  • Boxing

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