By Jonny Stapleton
Barry McGuigan claims all his years in boxing have made him look at Kiko Martinez European title withdrawal in a cynical light.
The Spaniard was scheduled to fight the McGuigan mentored Carl Frampton in a mouth watering continental clash on September 10, but pulled out at two weeks notice because of his father’s serious health issues.
Frampton still managed to pick up a major title strapping the Commonwealth belt around his waist after impressively stopping Ozzie Mark Quon, but McGuigan stressed remorse at not getting a chance to beat the fighter, who had Bernard Dunne gone in 86 seconds.
And despite issuing condolences to the Martinez family the former world champion stressed past experiences have left him a little dubious.
“I am disappointed Martinez didn’t turn up. It would have been a great fight. I have become a little cynical about the pro game and opponents pulling out. A lot of these stories can turn out to be dubious. I never believe anything I hear. If the young lad’s father is genuinely sick and could loose his leg, which there has been no further reports about, our sympathise are with him and his family,” McGuigan said.
McGuigan’s frustration was possibly added to by the fact hard trainer ‘The Jackal’ had never worked harder or looked more focused coming up to a fight.
By all accounts the Tiger’s Bay star had the eye of the Tiger and was impressing in sparring against some of Britain’s top featherweights and even lightweight European champ Gavin Rees.
The Clones Cyclone was 100 percent confident his charge would have won a fight most saw as a 50/50 battle
“I don’t think Kiko would have been stopped that early in the fight, but we were convinced Carl would have beaten him. I don’t want to sound cocky but I just know he has the capabilities to beat Kiko Martinez. If we didn’t we wouldn’t have taken the fight. If you spent seven weeks with him like I did and saw the way he sparred against quality fighters. Fighters he was giving a stone away too and punching holes in some off them you would be as excited as me.”