Carl Frampton to fight Kiko Martinez in February bout
Last updated on .From the section Boxing
Carl Frampton's much talked about proposed fight with Spain's Kiko Martinez is set to happen in Belfast's Odyssey Arena on 9 February.
Martinez has pulled out of two previous planned bouts but terms have now been agreed by both super-bantamweights.
The Spaniard's European title and Frampton's IBF Inter-Continental belt will be on offer in the contest.
"He's pulled out on me twice so I have a score to settle with him there," said Belfast man Frampton.
"It's a great fight for the fans and one that I have craved for a long time.
"I had too much for Steve Molitor (in my last fight) and he was a step-up so I am confident I can beat Kiko and do so in style.
"Martinez pulling out in September was a blessing in disguise really as I have been able to mature and learn even more.
"In February in front of another packed crowd at home, I'm looking to make another statement ahead at the start of a big year."
However, Martinez, whose record includes a dramatic first-round knockout of Ireland's former WBA champion Bernard Dunne in 2007, has predicted another early finish in Belfast.
"I do not read much into Carl beating Molitor as he took the fight at late notice and that's his only fight of 2012," said Martinez.
"I will beat him by KO - there's no alternative outcome.
"It is not my fault that we have not been able to do this fight so far.
"There have been many circumstances around that but I know that the Belfast fans will come out and support Carl as always and it will be an electric atmosphere."
Martinez is now promoted by current WBC world middleweight champion Sergio Martinez.
The middleweight star has fought in Belfast on three occasions and says he is looking forward to his latest trip to Northern Ireland.
"I have a special relationship with the British and Irish fans as they love me and treat me with enormous respect," he said.
Frampton's manager Barry McGuigan acknowledged that super-bantamweight Martinez "is a danger from first bell to last".
"It's a harder fight than Molitor. Styles make fights and this one is going to be a barn-burner.
"But the team are confident that Carl will win and win in style," added McGuigan.
The bill will also include Martin Lindsay's rescheduled clash with Lee Selby for the British and Commonwealth featherweight titles.