BoxingFight Previews

Sacramento’s Xavier Martinez To Introduce Himself On ESPN Main Event, Saturday

Info: Saturday, January 29th, 7 PM PST – ESPN

Sacramento, California’s Xavier Martinez has been long thought of as one of boxing’s best-kept secrets, sorry to Charles Conwell for using his nickname or calling card, but it is not the lingering WBC world title shot that is at stake for Martinez that all but secures a fight with either Shakur Stevenson or Oscar Valdez, but this Saturday, January 29th’s clash is dedicated to the newest member of his family.

“Now I’m really motivated. I just had my little girl. I have to fight for my little girl. She is my motivation. Makes me even hungrier, and that makes me train even harder,” said Martinez at the press conference today with a smile on his face as he brought up his daughter.

The 130 lbs. fighter who might just be Ray Woods’ last world champion for the historic and hall-of-fame Sacramento, California boxing coach, will be making his debut with a new promoter, Top Rank Inc., and a new manager, Rick Mirigian.

“Those last two fights were very tough and got me ready for this moment right here. I’ve been putting the work in, and I can’t let this opportunity slip by me.” 

Xavier Martinez’s journey to this point has been strange. Martinez signed with Mayweather Promotions in roughly 2016, at around his seventh fight. From 2016 to 2022 he would fight ten times, with 2019 starting his ShoBox: The Next Generation run in which he knocked out John Vincent Moralde and Jessie Cris Rosales.

A later Martinez would make his Showtime Championship Boxing debut against Claudio Marrero in which he dominated the fight, but was lulled into deep water against Marrero who dropped him twice in the eighth round. Martinez would get off the deck to win the following rounds in the twelve-round bout.

Not unlike a theme of Martinez’s career, his last fight, a Showtime Championship Boxing opener was seven months after his last bout, and saw him get a ten-round decision over a veteran Juan Carlos Burgos.

This bout keeps with that theme of seven months, as he will fight Robson Conceicao, seemingly after his last bout in about that time, but this time with a new promoter, Top Rank, and a new network – ESPN.

“I’m not overlooking Conceição. He is a great opponent. He is the main objective right now, but after this, I want a title shot. If it’s not right after, I want to keep active and maybe fight for a title next year,” said Martinez.

Martinez’s opponent Robson Conceição, is a 2016 Olympic gold medalist, one of the best Brazilian boxers ever, who has one of former UFC world champion Junior Dos Santos’ original boxing coaches as a part of his team. Oh, and Conceição gave Oscar Valdez a very tough fight in his last bout, in a bout, many people thought Conceição won – and that would make him a world champion if he had won it. So, in short, Martinez is fighting the best version of Conceição ever.

“What happened against Valdez was just a small setback. What I learned from that fight is that it was a great fight, but the fans know I won the fight. They know I’m the man,” said Conceição.
“I’m very motivated. After the fight with Valdez, I walked out of the ring very happy with my performance. I went straight to the gym. I had a very good training camp, and now I’m facing a very tough opponent. That makes me even happier. I hope he is ready for a great fight. I’m ready! I always overcome all obstacles. Martinez is a very tough fighter. We will be battling for our lives inside the ring. I trained very hard to come out with a big victory.”

As Martinez missed out on a lot of the amateur experience as he had issues in school and as a youth that held back his amateur career, Martinez looks to search for glory this Saturday. As a fighter, fighting out of Sacramento, which sadly is known just as much for its rising murder rate and gang violence as it is anything else, Martinez looks to be a heartfelt story emerging from the fight-rich city of Sacramento.

Saturday, Martinez gets to write his own destiny.

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Lukie Ketelle

Lukie Ketelle