FOR DAN GOOSSEN: Martirosyan Impresses, Defeats Nelson

One hundred fifty four pounders Willie Nelson and Vanes Martirosyan met up in the second TV scrap on Showtime on Saturday night. On paper, raise your hand if you thought this one coulda been a stinker. But no…it was a darned solid scrap.

Nelson went 185-608 to 194-625 for Martirosyan, who was on message tonight. He closed the distance, stayed busy and looked to rip hard shots low and high. The scores read: 97-93, 97-93, 96-94, for Vanes, the WBO Intercontinental champ.

Vanes after said that Dan Goossen’s death propelled him, and that he thought about Big Dan in round eight. Lil brother Joe Goossen spoke after, and said Dan wanted Vanes to win.

In the first, Nelson looked to use his height advantage. Vanes has had aggression problems and Nelson knows that. Nelson said before the bout that Vanes’ chin sometimes goes on a platter, while Vanes said he wanted a knockout, but didn’t want to go overboard in seeking it.

In the second, Nelson put his punches together. Vanes waited, watched, backed up. Then he scored. He hurt Nelson, with a counter right on a leaning in Willie. In the third, Nelson stayed smarter. He needed to not fall in and he’d be OK. His jab was the dominant punch. Vanes went to the body with the right and Joe Goossen yelled, “Niccce.”

In the fourth, a right caught Nelson at midrange. He was freezing up some, and Vanes was catching him with leads. We saw blood from the right eye of Vanes. Trainer Jack Loew told Nelson to, “Keep that jab movin!” After the round, Goossen told Vanes not to let Nelson have the range he wants.

In the fifth, the cut opened again. A right wobbled Nelson midway through. Vanes ripped two and three shot combos, didn’t neglect the body work. In the sixth, could Vanes continue to pull away? Vanes was coming forward, imposing his will. Then Nelson perked up, remembered he needed to be first, or Vanes’ confidence would build to a problematic place.

In the seventh, Nelson did well from long range. Nelson forgets to keep moving, though, freezes, so Vanes could close distance, rip a combo, hit body and head. Both men were busy, working hard. Goossen asked for more accuracy after the round. Loew told his kid they were in good shape.

In the eighth, Vanes came out obeying Goossen. Nelson was cut under his left eye. His corner didn’t like that round, told him to get busier. Goossen told Vanes not to back up one step. “Ready to win, baby?” he said.

In the ninth, Vanes threw a right hand, a bit loopy. He was in a mode, looking to win for Dan Goossen, maybe. Nelson was letting Vanes be in his face, he needed to establish a barrier, with that jab.

In the tenth, the action was furious. They didn’t bother moving much, it was trade city. “Great fight,” said ref Arthur Mercante Jr. It was..We went to the cards.



-The Commish :

Martirosyan looked better than I've seen him look in a long time. His right hand was like a missile with a radar lock on Willie Nelson's chin. I think you're only going to see tremendous improvement in VM as he works longer with his new trainer, Joe Goossen, one of boxing's very best. For Willie, the unanimous decision loss was, hopefully for him, a learning experience. He was countered repeatedly by the Martirosyan's right and staggered several times by it. If he watches the video of the fight, then corrects that flaw, he will return a much better fighter. -Randy G.

-Kid Blast :

Willie is chinny and no learning is going to help that. Sorry to say.

-the Roast :

The second fight was ok but the other two were forgettable at best. The best thing about the card was the rememberances of Dan Goossen. The ten count for the fallen member of the boxing community is one of the coolest things in boxing. I always stand up when they do it even if I am just by myself in the living room. I also liked how Diamonte was saying the last names of the fighters twice in tribute to Ed Darien.

-StormCentre :

I like Vanes Martirosyan. Guy was a very solid and accomplished amateur and I think, as a pro, he has (perhaps previously; to give the guy a chance) just gone a little stale. He did a better job against Lara than Canelo did. He was running dry at the Wild Card as that gym is busy and Freddie can't spread that much. Vanes also gave a good account of himself in sparring against 3G. Better than Chavez Jr. who did alright even though 3G wasn't pushing too hard. Martirosyan has "owned" Chavez a fair bit in the same gym too, and I think he just got disappointed and unmotivated seeing others get the big shots and then when he was called . . it wasn't all there for him. It's hard to be sharp all day every day when you can't pay your bills. For both Vanes Martirosyan and Dan Goosen I'd like to see Martirosyan revived and back in the picture. Please . . . don't tell me Quillin is a better fighter and prospect than Martirosyan. Martirosyan V any of the upcoming light middleweights, including Ndam, Charmello and/or Rosado would be a good next move for him, and Rosado may just grab at it if Martirosyan's skills and experience make him or his handlers think otherwise.