Get on Frampton to win on the cards against hearty Martinez
By Jamie Casey - Twitter: @skyjamiecasey. Last Updated: 09/02/13 8:11pm
Fight night: Carl Frampton goes toe-to-toe with Kiko Martinez, live on Sky Sports 1
Belfast's Odyssey Arena plays host to another big night for Carl Frampton (1/5) on Saturday, with the unbeaten home favourite making a bid for Kiko Martinez's (10/3) European Super-Bantamweight title.
Frampton has turned heads in this division following four wins in 2012, in each of which he displayed a unique ability to adapt his style to exploit his opponent's weaknesses, but in Martinez he faces an experienced hard-hitter.
Most of the pre-fight money has been going on Frampton, the favourite, with the Irishman backed heavily to win it in round eight at 16/1, and between rounds 7-9 in Sky Bet's Group Round betting market for the reasonable price of 9/2.
Martinez likes to advance with big, dangerous hooks, so Frampton will need to display an improvement on his dubious defence if he's to avoid getting hurt, but the Belfast boy's foot speed should come in handy as he finds his range.
Frampton tends to keep his hands low, but he needs to be extra careful as Martinez is more than capable of stunning him if he lands the perfect punch. However, shifting side to side to keep his opponent guessing by working the angles should prevent such a turn up.
Against Steve Molitor last time out, Frampton forced the Canadian onto the ropes before unleashing a string of combos, much like Martinez was forced out of his comfort zone and into the corner by Rendall Munroe in his first loss, and Frampton will aim to do likewise.
Martinez, who has plenty of heart having never been stopped in his pro career, needs to stay on the front foot if he's to win the fight, but he has slow feet in comparison to Frampton and the younger Irishman should be a little too smart for him on the night.
Martinez, primarily a pressure fighter with a big punch, hits very hard so the Spaniard to win by way of knock-out at 11/2 is worth a small stake if you're after an outside bet, but with the Belfast crowd wholly behind Frampton, expect the fight to go the distance unanimously in his favour.