David Martínez has predicted an all-out war against Portuguese Fábio Costa when they meet for the vacant IBA International Welterweight Championship at the Fairmont Southampton tomorrow.
Martínez came up short in his previous attempt to win the IBA strap, losing by a unanimous decision to Nikki Bascome at the same venue 12 months ago.
In a move underscoring the respect between the two fighters, Martínez was invited to train with Bascome, the former IBA title holder, and the Forty Rego team at their new base at TN Tatem Middle School this week, with the Mexican hoping the Bermudian can offer some valuable insight on Costa.
Bascome, who returns to the ring in January to face Englishman Ryan Oliver, suffered his only professional defeat, a fourth-round knockout, when he fought the hard-hitting Costa two years ago.
“It is a good learning experience to train with Nikki and get to know what he knows about [Costa],” Martínez said through a translator.
“This is the most prepared I have been for any fight and I believe it will be a very hard night because Fábio is a good fighter.
“However, I’m very motivated for this opportunity and feel very confident. It will be a very entertaining fight as we’re both at a similar level and we like to come forward and fight.
“Against Nikki, it was a different type of fight and not really the kind of fight I like.”
The 26-year-old, who has 13 wins from 18 bouts, has fought twice in Mexico since losing to Bascome, defeating countrymen Luciano Araujo via disqualification and Jesús Sandoval by a technical knockout.
He has also spent several months away from his young family in Durango, northern Mexico, moving temporarily to Mexico City, where he trains at the Miura Boxing Gym.
“All of my team is in Mexico City,” he said. “It’s very hard because I have a one-year-old daughter, but I understand the sacrifices I have to make to give her a better future.
“I feel very happy to be back in Bermuda. Everybody treats me very well and it’s a place I love.”
As for Costa’s claim that he will finish Martínez in the same brutal fashion that he beat Bascome, the Mexican said: “I’ll be the one doing the knockouts. I will give all of my heart to this fight, just like every Mexican warrior!
“Since day one, [my boxing career] has been very hard and to win this belt would mean the world to me.”
In the co-main event, Andre Lambe will face Portuguese Bruno Couto in the Bermudian’s final bout before he turns professional.
The southpaw is expected to make his pro debut on the undercard of Bascome’s bout against Oliver at the Fairmont Southampton on January 18.
Lambe has not lost on home soil for three years and will look to improve his amateur record of ten victories and six defeats when he faces Couto, of the Don Kinguell Academy in Porto.
Another Forty Rego’s fighter facing Portuguese opposition tomorrow is Jaylon Roberts, who will take on Ricardo Teixeira.
Meanwhile, Adrian Roach, 17, will look to add to his growing reputation with a strong display against Angolan Celestino Lima, who is representing Portugal. Roach, of Controversy Gym, has a record of four wins from five bouts and fought twice in North America this year.
Fighting for the first time in Bermuda will be Lovintz Tota, who represents Just Box Ltd, under trainer Janos Lindsay. He will be up against Portuguese Hugo Relvas.
The Fairmont Southampton is offering a $99 room rate for event patrons with proof of ticket purchase
Tickets costing $225 for ringside, $175 for VIP and $85 for general admission, are on sale from Sports R Us, Cafe Açoreano, Kit N Caboodle, Sousa’s Landscaping Southampton or online at www.bdatix.bm. For more information, visit www.bermudaboxing.com or follow the Bermuda Boxing Federation on Facebook and Instagram (boxingbda)