Rarely will you see a fighter with only 15 professional fights get such a tough assignment. But 25-year-old Carl "The Jackal" Frampton (15-0, 10 KO) has quite the test on Saturday night against Kiko "La Sensacion" Martinez (27-3, 19 KO).
Frampton does have an extensive amateur career, and the fight takes place in his hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland. He'll need to draw from both advantages to gain an edge over Martinez.
Frampton's IBF Inter-Continental Super Bantamweight title and Martinez's EBU super Bantamweight crown are at stake in this one. Though Martinez is just one year older than Frampton, he has had twice the number of professional fights.
Will professional experience trump home-field advantage?
It is but one of the intriguing questions heading into this fight. Opinions are coming in from both sides in this matchup, and that only makes the actual fight more compelling.
Middleweight champion Sergio Martinez manages the EBU champion—of no relation—and he has predicted a KO win for La Sensacion, per The Daily Mail.
Frampton told BBC Sport: "In every single department I am a bit better than this guy and I will prove it on Saturday."
It will be a great fight and a great atmosphere. The winner could be in line for a shot at Nonito Donaire or Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Here is how you can catch the fight and a deeper look at both fighters.
When: Saturday, Feb. 9 3 p.m. ET
Where: Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
TV: Sky Sports
Live Stream: Sky Go (Pay Service)
The Book on Martinez
La Sensacion is very much a throwback.
He stands wide, plants his left foot forward and rarely takes a step backwards. He employs very good head movement, though he keeps his hands a little too low, but that's not all that uncommon for an aggressive offensive fighter.
He wants to apply constant pressure to his opponents, and he switches up his power shots from the body to the head.
If I could categorize his style, I'd refer to him as a tactical brawler. He's looking to fight in a phone booth, but he does pick his spots to lunge in.
Martinez also has an excellent chin. He's never been stopped in any fight, and I've seen him absorb hard shots from good punchers.
Take a look at his first-round KO win over another up-and-coming Irish fighter Bernard Dunne. The latter was 24-0 heading into this 2007 bout with Martinez.
Dunne was heavily favored and fighting in front of his hometown crowd, but Martinez devastated him.
In a more recent bout, Martinez's pressure and conditioning outlasted Arsen Martirosyan. It was a spirited battle, but ultimately Martinez wore his opponent down.
It was the second time he had defeated Martirosyan, and one of the few wins over notable fighters on Martinez's resume. That is a concern coming into this fight.
There is much to prove for Martinez as this fight could be a springboard for his career.
The Book on Frampton
I am impressed with Frampton's mixture of speed, power and fundamentals. He's a quicker fighter than Martinez and an overall better athlete.
He can work off the jab or do damage with a variety of lead power shots. He has had success overcoming his opponents with his mixture of athleticism and skill.
One example of this is his complete outclassing of Steve Molitor in his last fight. From the opening bell Frampton seized control of the fight and ultimately stopped him in the sixth round.
Against most of the competition he's faced, his opponents have allowed him to dictate the tempo. That won't be the case against Martinez.
This is a significant test for Frampton because he's facing a fighter that applies a ton of pressure, brings significant power and has a solid chin.
The Jackal's best approach may be to prove he can pick his spots to trade, use his speed and refrain from pursuing the KO.
He could make this an easier fight for himself by boxing, but can he resist attempting to delight the hometown crowd?
It's a difficult fight to predict as the styles are a bit contrasting. However, I see Martinez being able to dictate the pace and entice Frampton into a slugfest.
Though Martinez isn't quite as quick as Frampton, he has solid timing. If Frampton trades with him, it is only a matter of time before Martinez rocks him.
Because I believe Frampton will be a bit too brave, I'm taking Martinez by late-stoppage or decision after a knockdown in the later rounds.