Josh Warrington secures world title bout with Kiko Martinez

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Josh Warrington will bid to become a two-time world champion when he fights Kiko Martinez for the IBF featherweight crown in Leeds on March 26.

Warrington defeated Martinez by a majority decision in May 2017 on his way to becoming world champion and will face him again at the same First Direct Arena venue in his hometown.

Martinez, 35, won the title in a big upset in November when knocking out Britain’s Kid Galahad in the sixth round having been out-classed for most of their fight in Sheffield.

Warrington wrote on Twitter: “We go again with Kiko… funny old game this boxing”

Warrington became IBF world champion with a split-decision victory over Lee Selby at Elland Road in January 2018 and successfully defended his title on three occasions.

The 31-year-old vacated his belt in January last year after the IBF had refused to sanction a unification fight with China’s WBA champion Xu Can.

Warrington suffered his first career loss the following month in a non-title fight against the unheralded Mauricio Lara after over a year of inactivity.

The Leeds boxer’s last appearance was in a rematch against Lara at Headingley Stadium in September, which ended in a technical draw after the Mexican was cut above his left eye in an accidental clash of heads.

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