sport

Kiko paves way for Quigg clash

Scott Quigg hopes to land a world title unification clash with Kiko Martinez after the Spaniard defended his IBF belt against Jeffrey Mathebula.

Martinez halted the South African in the ninth round on Saturday night and Quigg watched his super-bantamweight rival from ringside in Spain.

The Bury fighter retained his WBA belt with a stoppage win over Diego Oscar Silva last month and wants to secure a second title by defeating Martinez next year.

He tweeted: "Great win for @MartnezKiko last night. 2014 let's make a unification fight."

Martinez has not enjoyed much success on these shores as he suffered two defeats against Rendall Munroe before being stopped in the ninth round by Carl Frampton in February.

Frampton, who was also in Spain for the fight, offered Martinez a rematch after the Alicante man ripped the belt from Jhonatan Romero in August, but Quigg is likely to jump ahead of him in the queue.

His trainer Joe Gallagher called on promoter Eddie Hearn to agree a deal with Martinez, tweeting: "Congratulations to @MartnezKiko on a terrific performance tonight @maravillabox @EddieHearn make it happen @scottquigg v Kiko 2014."

Martinez had bullied Mathebula from the opening bell and the challenger struggled to withstand his relentless assault.

He finally wilted in the ninth, taking a knee after yet another attack, and the referee waved off the contest.