One of the cruddiest fights I watched--OK, sort of semi-watched, because I Tweeted, and also poked around on Facebook during the bout--in 2012 was the Erislandy Lara-Vanes Martirosyan fight. They gloved up on Nov. 10 in Las Vegas, in an eliminator, with the winner to get a crack at WBC 154 pound champ Canelo Alvarez.
The bout ended in a draw, prematurely...or, maturely, if you disliked it as much as I did, with nine rounds complete. Martirosyan, cut over his left eye by a head butt, couldn't continue, on advice of the ring doc.
Lara ran throughout the bout and Vanes went after him, but without the sort of urgency you'd expect with the stakes being so high, and without the efficiency you might have expected from his record and constant campaigning for a signature bout in the last couple years.
Martirosyan said right after he wanted a rematch but suffice to say the people didn't share the sentiment. One TV exec I saw right after wasn't in that mode either. I begged him, semi jokingly, not to buy a rematch between these cats, and the exec indicated he hated the fight as much as I did. It didn't seem likely that he would be prone to televise a rematch, even if the fighters paid the broadcasters. Through nine rounds, the two men landed about a hundred punches between them, and averaged around 25 thrown per round. That was woeful output, the fight lacked drama, the style matchup didn't work...So imagine my surprise when I see a Tweet from the WBC indicating that Golden Boy beat Top Rank in a purse bid for the rematch, $410,00 to $62,500.
I did a double and then triple take, wondering if maybe this was a ghost Tweet, a message in a bottle Tweet, bobbing up in the system months later, a bug in the system.
I checked Vanes' Twitter feed, and yes, he's been talking about the rematch. Wow is all I can say...
Hey, looking on the bright side, I have to think a rematch couldn't be any worse. Vanes said he's a new man, and he will KO Lara...but he talked a heckuva game last time too. I can't quite comprehend the thinking in bidding that much for the rematch of a certified stinkeroo, but I know my place in the world...I don't pretend to have all the answers or a flawless crystal ball. Presumably Golden Boy knows something I don't, or maybe they were just caught inside some sanctioning body silliness. A source there indicated in so many words that's what happened...
I've liked some things I've seen from Lara, like his work against Paul Williams in July 2011. I like his chances to tweak his strategy and turn in a better showing, than I do Martirosyan's, and I hope they both prove me wrong and put on a helluva rumble.
But this one leaves me scratching my head.
Follow Woods on Twitter. https://twitter.com/Woodsy1069