By Steven Feder
Vanes Martirosyan (30-0 19 KOs) scored an exciting 7th round knockout on Saturday evening to capture the WBC junior middlweight title. Below are some quick thoughts on the fight and facing WBC champion Saul Alvarez down the road.
"The first round was obviously a momentary heart attack, but it was clearly a flash knockdown and we could see very quickly that Vanes's legs were solid. He was over aggressive and it cost him, but it didn't concern me or Edmond as far as endangering a win, because we came with the full intention of knocking Roman out. What became a potential problem turned into a blessing. It was a gut check that at this point in his career was needed. As they say it's not how you hit the canvas it's how you rise up from it. Vanes rose to his feet and from that moment on we knew he would not go down again. He returned to the corner cool, kept his composure and his focus. He knew it was time to stick with Edmond's original game plan, and in time he would find the right round to cut loose. Once he settled down he went to work and the power behind those punches could be heard in Glendale. Both fighters exchanged, but it was Vanes that was sending missiles that did the trick. Once he found the distance, and shortened up the left hook, the right was there for him to do it's thing. He's got crazy power and speed, and he only showed a degree of it Saturday night.
If anybody had any doubt whether Vanes could get in there and brawl this should end it. Saul put up a very tough fight, and took some very punishing shots and kept coming. Finally they took their toll. The key from here is to stay focused, and get back as soon as possible into a regular training routine. As for what's next I hope that the WBC will do the right thing and give us the shot at the title. If they call this an eliminator then that's what it should be. He's mandatory, so the winner of Rhodes vs Alvarez should be ours. We have to start letting the fighters ranking determine the matches. The politics have to go. These guys are putting their lives on the line, and they should not be subjected to any kind of manipulation of ranking positioning. If we are number one, then we should fight the champ. There are a number of fights out there, some which will be determined over the next few weeks. Vanes isn't going to turn anyone down so we'll see how straight up and above board the rankings are. We need to give something the boxing fans should be able to follow and depend on. They can do it in every other sport why not boxing.
As for the issue with HBO. Well, I think we gave the fans a great show, and ended it as all fans want to see with a KO. So whether it's Showtime, which I work with a lot through their Shobox series that helped bring Lateef POWER Kayode into people's living rooms, or HBO, I don't care, but I think Vanes has matured and he understands the entertainment value side of the game now. We discussed this in length and he will always put on a great show. It's show business plain and simple.
We asked to fight in Staples to be near his hometown fans in Glendale and Bob Arum made it happen. Thanks to Bob and the rest of the great team at Top Rank we started off this new anniversary of 30 wins in Los Angeles. If Alvarez won't come to us, then I hear Mexico isn't far away.
It was a great night for Wild Card fighters. Vanes and Julio (Chavez) bringing home belts, not a bad way to spend an evening in LA."