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Martirosyan likely to take Feb. 5 bout

Boxing: Glendale fighter was reportedly near bout with WBA champ, will instead fight unnamed opponent on Feb. 5.

December 24, 2010|By Gabriel Rizk,

GLENDALE — In what had to be nothing short of a boon of encouragement and validation to Vanes "Nightmare" Martirosyan, Top Rank Promotions CEO Bob Arum recently made a pitch to HBO for a March 12 fight between the undefeated Glendale boxer and one of the biggest names in the light middleweight division, World Boxing Assn. champion Miguel Cotto.

Unfortunately for Martirosyan's hopes of landing a long-sought fight with the high-profile Puerto Rican, HBO declined to televise the card, according to a report Thursday from ESPN's Dan Rafael, which was confirmed by Martirosyan's manager Steven Feder.

"Bob made a good attempt to try and get that fight, but our job is to get back in the ring and get busy again and that's what we're going to do," said Feder, who replaced Shelley Finkel as Martirosyan's manager when the latter retired in November. "We've waited around long enough and now the No. 1 thing is to get Vanes back in the ring."


Feder acknowledged on Thursday that the potential March 12 matchup with Cotto is now all but off the table and his client is instead focusing on a Feb. 5 tune-up match at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa against an opponent to be determined.

"I think it's a good move, we'll take the Feb. 5 fight, a little tune-up fight, get that out of the way and then go for the big guys after that," Martirosyan said. "It's actually a good thing because people are going to see a different Vanes and I can't wait to show them."

Martirosyan (28-0, 17 knockouts) has expressed a desire to take on Cotto (35-2, 28 KOs) since August, when it was first reported that Top Rank was considering the match. Cotto then decided to sit out the remainder of 2010, but Martirosyan was still reported to be in line for a big fight before the end of the year, with Pawel Wolak, Kelly Pavlik and Paul Williams among those rumored to be his possible opponent.

But the proposed December dates, including a Dec. 18 bout with Wolak for which Glendale High's Moyse Field was rumored to be considered for the venue, came and went silently.

"It sucks not being able to fight," said Martirosyan, who last fought on June 5 in Yankee Stadium, beating Joe Greene via unanimous decision. "It's been like a roller coaster, just on and off like a bad relationship. They tell me it's on, I go back to the gym for a couple days, then they tell me it's off. It's just like that."

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