By Alexey Sukachev and Andrey Bazdrev
Later tonight in Saint Petersburg, Russia, WBO #1 ranked middleweight Gennady Martirosyan (21-2, 10 KOs) is coming back to the ring for the first time in 2011. The WBO European champion will take on Argentinean journeyman Valentin Antonio Ochoa (20-18-2, 8 KOs) in a non-title ten-rounder in preparation for his future fight with fellow compatriot and WBO champion Dmitry Pirog (18-0, 14 KOs).
“As you certainly know, Gennady is a challenger for the WBO belt currently owned by the fellow Russian fighter”, said Martirosyan’s manager Alexander Yagupov in his recent conversation with Andrey Bazdrev of PRO-BOX.ru. “And we consider each contest as a stepping stone for the future showdown with Dmitry Pirog. The last time out it took Gena less than three rounds to completely demolish his opponent (22-4 Vitor Sa of Portugal), so he definitely needs more fight practice and he surely should be more active”.
Ochoa is just 1-11-1 in his last 13 fights but Yagupov considers him a viable challenge.
“Negotiations with Team Pirog are under way right now but it will take us no less than two or three months to give it a go. We shall prepare nicely for the upcoming match-up and that is what we are doing now. Ochoa had a strange loss to Javier Francisco Maciel, who has knocked him out in one, but Valentin was simply unprepared for that fight. He is a good fighter, and he is a counter-puncher – just like Dmitry Pirog. He has a nice right hand and he is of the same stature with Dmitry. We don’t pay any attention to his record; we just want a nice work in the ring and more rounds and that is what we aiming at."
Also on the card is Konstantin Piternov (12-1, 4 KOs), who will enter the ring just a month removed from his crushing loss to Dmitry Sukhotskiy (18-1, 12 KOs) in Kemerovo. Piternov, who is a Russian light heavyweight champion, goes down in weight to face durable trialhorse Vasily Andriyanov (8-25, 1 KO). “Piternov will compete at 168 lbs from now on. Light heavyweight isn’t his division”, commented Yagupov. Tajik slugger Sherali Mamadaliev (12-1, 7 KOs) will take on Sergey Sergeev (2-1) over six. The show will be held at “Typhoon” sport club and will start at 6 PM LT.