By Nick Giongco
Raul Martinez, the San Antonio native who will soon travel to the Philippines in a bid to knock the IBF flyweight crown off Nonito Donaire’s head, told fightnews and Manila Bulletin that he is aching to get it on with the Filipino champion at the Araneta Coliseum. Nicknamed ‘Cobra’, Martinez has been in and out of the gym in the Texas town of Jarrell since December. “I have lost count how many rounds I have sparred,” said Martinez, who is trained by Fernando Castrejon, the right-hand man of the venerable Nacho Beristain in Mexico City. “It’s a 50-50 fight and we are both hard punchers,” said Martinez, who has a 24-0 record with 14 knockouts and is making his first trip to Asia. Martinez trains at the Azteca Pride Gym and is managed by Lou Mesorana, while making up his training team are Alberto Cruces and Joe Villanueva. Philippine TV blocktimer Solar Sports is staging the show in partnership with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. The Martinez bout will be Donaire’s third defense of the IBF 112-lb crown that he won by one-punch kayo of Vic Darchinyan in July 2007.