By Keith Idec
Promoter Dan Goossen pounced on the opportunity to work with junior middleweight contender Vanes Martirosyan once Martirosyan’s partnership with Top Rank Inc. had run its course following his last fight.
Goossen emphasized, though, that it is extremely important for Martirosyan to produce a dominant win in his televised fight Friday night.
Martirosyan (33-1-1, 21 KOs) will meet Mexico’s Mario Alberto Lozano (28-4, 22 KOs) in an ESPN2 “Friday Night Fights” main event from Morongo Casino Resort Spa in Cabazon, Calif. The 10-round, 154-pound bout will be Martirosyan’s first fight since the 2004 American Olympian suffered his first professional defeat – a split-decision to undefeated Demetrius Andrade (20-0, 13 KOs) in their 12-rounder for the then-vacant WBO junior middleweight title Nov. 9 in Corpus Christi, Texas.
“Right now it’s not only about winning, it’s making a statement in victory,” Goossen said. “And on March 21, I believe Vanes is going to do just that. I’ve been following his career for a long time. I believe it was a great signing for the company and what he’s done in the past is nothing [compared] to what we expect to see from him in the future. On the 21st, we are going to see a rejuvenated world-class fighter in the ring at Morongo on ESPN.”
Martirosyan, of Glendale, Calif., is still just 27, remains one of boxing’s top 10 junior middleweights and is heavily favored to defeat Lozano, who has never been stopped. The 26-year-old Lozano has a good record, but it has been built mostly against marginal opposition and he hasn’t beaten a legitimate contender during his nine-year pro career. Lozano also lost his last fight to Dallas’ Charles Hatley (22-1-1, 15 KOs), who beat him by unanimous decision in their 12-rounder Nov. 7 in Dallas.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with world champions and world contenders,” said Joe Goossen, Martirosyan’s trainer. “The work Vanes is putting in right now is exceptional and he is on his way to becoming a world champion. He has great foot movement, quick hand speed and a dynamite right hand – all the elements of a future world champion.”
Lightweights Anthony Peterson (32-1, 21 KOs), of Washington, D.C., and Marcos Jimenez (20-4, 13 KOs), of the Dominican Republic, will open ESPN2’s telecast Friday night at 9 p.m. ET in a 10-rounder.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.