‘The Jackal’ revealed as much when reacting to the news the Spaniard had retired.
Taking to Twitter, the former two-weight world champion described Martinez as “Spain’s greatest ever fighter”, adding, “I’ve a lot of respect for the majority of my opponents but none more than Kiko Martinez.”
Spain's greatest ever fighter has just announced his retirement. I've a lot of respect for the majority of my opponents but none more than @MartnezKiko . Enjoy your retirement Campeón 🥊 🇪🇸 pic.twitter.com/L5SRqpxFfJ— Carl Frampton MBE (@RealCFrampton) August 21, 2023
It’s a massive compliment considering the Belfast fighter shared the ring with the likes of Leo Santa Cruz, Jamel Herring and Nonito Donaire, although it won’t come as a massive surprise to Irish fight followers.
Frampton and Martinez have always been complimentary to each other and the Belfast favourites admiration for the former Bernard Dunne opponent played a big part in making Martinez one of the most liked away fighters in Irish boxing history.
There was genuine tension between the pair before both of their title fights. Frampton took both the European title and the IBF world title off Martinez in two famous fights separated by 18 months.
At that stage, it looked like ‘La Senscaion’ may have been done but he continued to battle and continued to win major titles becoming a five-time European Champ and a two-weight world champion before he retired.
Writing in The Sunday Life after Martinez upset Jordan Gill, Frampton said: “I love Kiko, have a lot of respect for him and I was delighted to see him win. It’s very rare that I would cheer against a British or Irish fighter and although Gill is a really lovely kid, because of our fights together and the friendship we’ve forged since, I’ll always back Kiko.
“As well as the five European titles, he has won world titles at two weights and is now on the verge of fighting for another world title as the landscape of the division seems to be changing with some of the champions set to move up. It’s quite incredible and fitting that he is known as ‘La Sensacion’.”