It’s more of a leap than just step-up for Kurt Walker [2(1)-0] this weekend.
Conlan Boxing confirmed a number of Return of the Mick undercard opponents over the weekend and it was Olympian Walker’s who really stood out.
The Canal BC graduate fights Marcos Gabriel Martinez [18(5)-3(2)] on a bill topped by his manager and stablemate Michael Conlan at the SSE Arena on Saturday night.
It’s hard to gauge just how good the Argentine is considering all his fights have taken place in his home country but he has vast experience and certainly knows how to win.
Indeed, he has won 18 of his 21 fights and has defeats have come against fighters with more impressive pro cv’s than the former amateur standout.
The 31-year-old’s first defeat came against former Michael Conlan foe Adeilson Dos Santos in a World Youth title defence, which suggests he was once seen as a prospect of real note.
He put together a string of wins over the next few years before suffering back-to-back defeats, once again in title fights. ‘La Maquinita’ then took a prolonged break seven years to be exact before returning with a six rounds points win last December.
The long sabbatical will allow people to query what level Martinez is capable of competing at the present time but the bottom line is it’s a massive step up for a two-fight pro novice.
In just his third fight Walker fights a fighter with 18 wins and a veteran of three prestigious title fights. Lewis Crocker [14(8)-0], another Adam Booth trained fighter, will also trade leather with Argentine opposition on the stacked card.
The welterweight, who is on the verge of a British title shot, shares the ring with Carlos Daniel Aquino [19(14)-12(5)-1] whose record suggests he can punch.
Fearghus Quinn [3(1)-0] fights record-breaking journeyman Seamus Devlin [1-34-1] and will look to become the first man to stop the ‘Celtic Cobra’.
The strong card also features Tyrone McKenna v Chris Jenkins, Padraig McCrory v Marco Periban, and all-Irish clashes in James McGivern v Tony McGlynn and Colm Murphy v Ruadhan Farrell – not to mention headliner Mick Conlan who returns versus veteran Miguel Marriaga.