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Martirosyan counters

Boxing: Top WBC contender answers critics who say he's ducking fight.

September 17, 2011|By Gabriel Rizk, gabriel.rizk@latimes.com
(Tim Berger/Staff…)

Vanes "Nightmare" Martirosyan hasn't been in the ring since early June, but nonetheless, the undefeated light middleweight has taken quite a beating over the past week.

Rather than physical, the abuse heaped on Glendale's most famous fighter in the wake of turning down a proposed Nov. 5 fight in Cancun, Mexico against Alfredo Angulo late last week has been verbal, dished out over the web by sources as varied as Golden Boy Promotions brass, fight fans on Internet message boards and even Angulo himself.

"[Martirosyan] turned it down. He's off the card," Golden Boy matchmaker Eric Gomez told boxingscene.com. of the fight, which was announced Sept. 7 and nixed days later by Martirosyan's camp. "It's a fight the [World Boxing Council] ordered. The money was right. We offered him a good amount of money. We offered him neutral officials, everything. It was going to be in Cancun, HBO was going to televise, but he doesn't want to fight."

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Martirosyan, the Top-Rank Promotions-backed No. 1 contender for the WBC light middleweight title held by Saul Alvarez, recently cleared the air about whether he's really ducking Angulo, who is promoted by Golden Boy, and just why he didn't view the fight's stipulations in the same glowing terms as Gomez.

"I would love to fight Angulo. I've been wanting that fight for a long time," said Martirosyan (30-0, 19 knockouts). "It's just that the WBC is being really funny about things."

A large part of the rationale behind Martirosyan's unwillingness to fight Angulo (20-1, 17 KOs) Nov. 5 stems from his position that he has already earned a title shot in the 154-pound division.

Martirosyan was a top contender for the WBC belt back in March when Alvarez instead fought and beat welterweight Matthew Hatton for the vacant title. Martirosyan then defeated Saul Roman for the vacant WBC Silver light middleweight title formerly held by Alvarez in what was billed as a semi-final title eliminator on June 4. The Angulo fight was being negotiated as another hurdle for Martirosyan to clear to reach Alvarez, also a Golden Boy client, who would have been mandated to face the winner.

"Everybody will say their side of the story and it's easy to talk," Martirosyan's uncle and manager Serge Martirosyan said. "But when it comes to reality, Vanes was supposed to fight for the WBC title about a year ago.

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