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Vanes Martirosyan stays calm before storm of Lara fight

Boxing: Local fighter has kept low profile in run-up to biggest bout.

November 06, 2012|By Gabriel Rizk
  • Glendale's Vanes Martirosyan faces Erislandy Lara on Saturday night.
Glendale's Vanes Martirosyan faces Erislandy… (Roger Wilson, Glendale…)

A strange sound has been emanating from Vanes "Nightmare" Martirosyan's camp over the past weeks — silence.

Never one to shy away from talking trash or baiting opponents, the Glendale resident has maintained a decidedly low public profile since his World Boxing Council light middleweight final eliminator bout with Erislandy Lara became a done deal. So what happened to the fighter who had spent months calling out Lara and other top fighters in the 154-pound division, once even promising in an interview to break Lara's ribs and send him to the hospital?

Martirosyan shed some light on his recent media blackout when he broke that silence on Monday for an exclusive interview with the Glendale News-Press to address Saturday's 12-round main event of HBO Boxing After Dark card from the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas that will mark his first return to action in over a year.

"All the trash talking on my part was to get a big fight," Martirosyan said. "I landed a big fight and now I'm just going to put up and not talk more trash, that's why I haven't said anything to nobody."

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Martirosyan (32-0, 20 knockouts) has indeed landed himself a big fight, by all signs the biggest yet of his seven-year pro career, both in terms of stakes and the quality of his opponent. Lara brings in a record of 17-1-1 with 11 knockouts and is the No. 1 contender to the WBC title currently held by Saul Alvarez. A win over the dangerous southpaw would not only provide Martirosyan, the No. 2 contender, with a signature win critics often claim his career resume lacks, but put him next in line for his first world title.

Lara, a 29-year old Cuban defector who fights out of Miami, has been on a fast track to stardom in the division after making his pro debut in 2008 and didn't suffer the first blemishes on his record until 2011 when he battled Carlos Molina to a draw on March 25 and then lost by majority decision to Paul Williams on July 9 in what is still considered one of the most controversial decisions of all-time and since resulted in the suspension of all three judges involved.

Since then, Lara has been sharp in his only two fights of 2012, destroying Ronald Hearns in 90 seconds on April 20 before claiming a 10-round unanimous decision over Freddy Hernandez on June 30.

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