Martirosyan nears biggest fight of career

Second String

May 27, 2010|By Grant Gordon
  • Glendale boxer Vanes Martirosyan is gearing up for his biggest fight to date.
Glendale boxer Vanes Martirosyan is gearing up for his… (Roger Wilson/News-Press )

"Vanes is such a hard worker. He's just a baby now, he's only 19, but we're getting there a little bit every day." — Freddie Roach on Vanes Martirosyan after the latter's second pro fight

Within the bowels of the Staples Center, inside the confines of the Chick Hearn Media Room, Vanes "The Nightmare" Martirosyan stepped onto center stage.

Shouldered by trainer Freddie Roach and Top Rank Promoter Lee Samuels, Martirosyan was the centerpiece of a press conference on the undercard of an event headlined by Julio Cesar Chavez as a part of his farewell tour.

As this press conference came to be, the mass of media milling around picking at complimentary snacks and hobnobbing within their own cliques as they often do during the undercard, they all briefly looked up at this teenage fighter wondering who he was as the impromptu interview began taking place.

It consisted of one writer asking every question as this promising 19-year-old boxer seemed to only be of interest to one representative of his hometown paper.


On that particular Saturday, May 28, 2005, Martirosyan easily dispatched Jovanni Rubio inside of one round, improving to 2-0.

Since then, five years have passed along with 25 more victories and 16 more knockouts. A lot more people are asking Martirosyan questions these days and a lot more people are paying attention.

And on June 5, the former Olympian and one of Glendale's favorite sons will step through the ropes and into the biggest fight of his still young career.

Little more than a week remains until the Armenian native takes on "Mean" Joe Greene in a 10-round, 154-pound bout at "The Stadium Slugfest," a card televised on HBO in which Greene (22-0, 14 KOs) and Martirosyan (27-0, 17 KOs) will be the co-main event at the new Yankee Stadium. While many will tune in and buy tickets to see Miguel Cotto and Yuri Foreman duel in the main event, Greene and Martirosyan will still have plenty of eyes upon them.

For the "Nightmare," now 24, it will not be the first time he's fought in a major venue, nor will it be the first time he's fought atop a card.

He's fought from top to bottom of the bout sheet, he's fought indoors and outdoors at magnificent arenas and some that weren't quite so illustrious.

He's fought at the Alameda Swap Meet in L.A. and Buffalo Bill's in Primm, Nev.

He's also fought in Vegas and Atlantic City, NJ.

He's fought on untelevised undercards, he's fought on cable and on pay-per-view.

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