Every so often, in the world of boxing, you come across talent that pours out with championship ingredients.
Vanes Martirosyan has that kind of sure-fire potential.
Perhaps potential is the wrong word for Martirosyan (33-1-1, 21 Kos), who faces Mexico’s Mario Lozano (28-4, 22 Kos) on Friday, at Morongo Casino. Maybe "destiny" is the proper term to employ for the junior middleweight from Glendale, Calif.
Back in the early 2000s, Martirosyan was banging out victories in amateur tournaments with a style that was both aggressive and compelling, a cross between a taller Erik Morales and a more refined Kelly Pavlik.
When he competed in the Olympic tryouts in 2004, not many in the West Coast were surprised by Martirosyan’s success. The Armenian-American had blazed through many tournaments in California and had similar success against East Coast boxers. But, making the Olympic team, and winning, is two different matters. International boxing has scant resemblance to actual pro boxing and Martirosyan was one and done.
After the Olympics Martirosyan was signed by Top Rank and trained at the Wild Card in Hollywood. That’s where the trouble began. It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle in a gym that harbors some of the best boxing talent in the world. Then he moved to Houston to train with Ronnie Shields and things seemed to get worse. It was a bad mixture for some reason. A return to Hollywood brought back normalcy but Martirosyan still seemed tangled in a junior middleweight stew.
Incredibly, people forget that despite all of these traps and mental land mines Martirosyan remained undefeated. Wins over Angel Hernandez, Andrey Tsurkan, and Kassim Ouma were not easy fights. Wins over undefeated Joe Greene and hard-hitting Richard Gutierrez proved he was a step above contender status. Yet, he had to wait.
Finally, he was matched against Cuban southpaw Erislandy Lara in November 2011. Few wanted to fight the slick moving lefty, but Martirosyan was anxious to show the boxing world that he was a world championship-caliber prizefighter. They met at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas and it was clear both boxers were on their game. But an accidental clash of heads opened a cut over Martirosyan’s left eye. They couldn’t close the cut and the fight was declared a technical draw in the ninth round. Like they say, if he didn’t have bad luck he wouldn’t have luck at all.
Lara is a world champion now, but no one can say Martirosyan is a step lower. That night they clashed it was visible to all who saw the fight that the Glendale prizefighter has the tools that separate the champions from the contenders.
The loss against Demetrius Andrade for the vacant WBO junior middleweight title by split decision opened the door for Martirosyan to go a different direction. It was a very close fight and showed he’s right there knocking at the door.
Just recently Martirosyan signed a promotion contract with Goossen-Tutor Promotions, who also have Andre Ward, Chris Arreola, Josesito Lopez, John Molina and the brothers Oscar and Javier Molina, who are no relation to John.
“I want to make a statement in my fight,” said Martirosyan, 27, while at the Ten Goose Boxing Gym in Van Nuys. “I want to fight for a world title, it doesn’t matter who it is.”
For several years Martirosyan let the boxing world know that winning a world title remains his goal. Anyone with a championship belt can find him a willing challenge.
“Everything I’ve done in the past has been because of my athletic abilities. Now I’m with the proper team and the proper trainer,” says Martirosyan, who now trains with Joe Goossen. “I feel I’m with the right trainer and feel like I’m free to do what I need to do.”
Dan Goossen, president of Goossen-Tutor Promotions, said that he feels he picked up a boxing gem with Martirosyan.
“Here’s a guy with all of the talent in the world,” said Goossen. “I think he’s going to do great things.”
ESPN2 will televise.
Other boxing notes
Heather Hardy (8-0, 2 Kos) meets Nydia Feliciano (7-4-3) in the main event on Friday, March 21 at the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn, New York. The junior featherweight fight is scheduled for eight rounds. On the same card Lancaster, Calif.’s Joel Diaz Jr. (14-0, 12 Kos) risks his undefeated record against veteran Jose Beranza (36-29-2) in a junior lightweight fight.
All Star Boxing host a Montebello, Calif. fight card featuring Ricardo “Alacran” Alvarado (7-1, 6 Kos) of Durango, Mexico facing Ricardo “Pelon” Dominguez (37-10-2) of Culiacan, Mexico. The junior bantamweight fight takes place Friday March 21, at the Quiet Cannon Golf Course. For more information call (323) 816-6200.
WBA bantamweight titlist Anselmo Moreno (34-2-1, 12 Kos) meets Argentina’s Javier Chacon (19-1, 4 Kos) on Saturday March 22, at Panama City, Panama. This is Moreno’s first title defense since regaining the WBA title that he vacated to fight Abner Mares in 2012.
Cuban heavyweight Odlanier Solis (20-1, 13 Kos) fights American heavyweight Tony Thompson (38-4, 26 Kos) for the WBC International title on Saturday March 22. Their match takes place in Istanbul, Turkey.
Former champion Fernando Montiel (51-4-2) defeated former champion Cristobal Cruz (40-16-3) by majority decision after 10 rounds on Saturday in a junior lightweight match. Their contest took place in Chiapas, Mexico. Both fighters hail from Mexico.
Heavyweight contender Deontay Wilder (31-0, 31 Kos) scored his 31st consecutive knockout against Malik Scott (36-2-1, 13 Kos) on Saturday. Their match lasted 1:36. The fight took place in Puerto Rico. Other winners were Juan Manuel Lopez, Danny Jacobs and Ed Paredes.
Maureen Shea (23-2, 11 Kos) defeated Nohime Dennisson (5-3-2) by unanimous decision after 10 rounds of a featherweight contest. The match was held on Saturday March 15 at Oxnard, California. Shea formerly lived in the Bronx, New York and now lives in Ventura.
Daniel Roman (9-2-1) stopped Jose Cota (8-11-1) at 1:48 of round two to win the junior featherweight match on Saturday in Orange. Also, Jonathan Garcia (14-0, 11 Kos) defeated Joaquin Chavez (6-11-3) by unanimous decision after six rounds in a welterweight bout.
Vyacheslav Glazkov (17-0-1, 11 Kos) upset Poland’s favored Tomasz Adamek (49-3, 29 Kos) by unanimous decision after 12 rounds of a heavyweight contest. Their fight took place in Bethlehem, Pa. Glazkov fights out of Russia.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV