GLENDALE — Vanes "Nightmare" Martirosyan and "Mean" Joe Greene hail from opposite coasts, but hardly come from different worlds and the two undefeated junior middleweight contenders, both 24, have a lot more in common than meets the eye.
Martirosyan, who fights out of Glendale by way of Yerevan, Armenia, and Greene, a Brooklyn, N.Y. native who fights out of Jamaica, Queens, carved out identical paths toward promising professional careers by shooting up through the amateur ranks and faring well in the same United States Olympic trials in 2004.
That's where their courses diverged, as Martirosyan was the only one of the two to make it to Athens, an opportunity he parlayed into a contract with Top Rank Promotions and the services of star trainer Freddie Roach, with the rest being, as they say, history.
But both have gone on to equally impressive professional careers and now the fighters' paths are about to meet head on, as they are set to open the HBO World Championship Boxing live broadcast of Saturday night's "Stadium Slugfest" at the new Yankee Stadium as the co-main event for the World Boxing Assn. super welterweight fight between Miguel Cotto and Yuri Foreman.