By Ryan Maquiñana
This week, junior middleweight contender Vanes Martirosyan has seen a potential fight with Alfredo “Perro” Angulo come and go.
Now “The Nightmare” has lost his manager as well.
“We mutually agreed to terms, and I had a representative sign a release yesterday,” Steven Feder told BoxingScene. “I have a certain style of managing where I feel like if I can’t do a job, and if the fighter doesn’t feel comfortable either or he’s not on the same page, then I just felt like it wasn’t going to work out. He was unhappy. I was unhappy. We didn’t see eye to eye.”
Feder, who signed the 25-year-old Martirosyan (30-0, 19 KOs) to his Standing Eight stable last November after Shelly Finkel released all his boxing clients to return to music promotion, was with the Glendale, Calif., native for his last two bouts, both wins.
“After Vanes had a long layoff, we took a tune-up in Canada against Bladimir Hernandez,” Feder said. “Then after that, we took the fight with [Saul] Roman, which put him in the best position possible for a world title, which was the goal.”
With the 154-pound division heating up, Martirosyan was firmly entrenched at No. 2 in the WBO, No. 3 in the IBF (with two vacant slots ahead of him), and most importantly, at No. 1 to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez for his WBC strap.
In recent months, Martirosyan went so far as to call out Alvarez and middleweight world champion Sergio Martinez, and he finally seemed on the cusp of joining some elite company.
There’s no reason why that can’t still occur, but after Martirosyan’s inexplicable decision to turn down a big name like Angulo, one has to wonder what has caused “The Nightmare” to put his progress on hold.
“He called out of a lot of people,” Feder said. “I didn’t agree with that, especially when he’s got a great promotional team in Top Rank behind him to do their job. Look, the Angulo fight wasn’t easy, but he’s in a position where you have to keep building. At 30-0, you got to take a step up at certain point. Champions are made by risk.
“If he worked hard in the gym, he could’ve won. Were they the best conditions, as far as going to Mexico? No. He wanted it in the U.S. But we had agreed to U.S. judges, and we hadn’t even started negotiations for money. I felt like we’d get a fair deal from Top Rank in terms of money. He just didn’t want the fight. There’s nothing I could’ve done about that. You have to fight the guys that the people want to see you fight.”
No one doubts Martirosyan’s potential; in the amateurs, he beat world titlists Andre Berto and Timothy Bradley en route to a spot on the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team. But if he’s not fighting Angulo in the winter, where does he go from here?
“It’s not for me to say anymore,” Feder said. “He’s a nice kid. I wish him well. He’s got a good family and good people around him. I’m more than willing to help him in any way, but as the manager part, it’s got to end. My goal was to put him in a position where he would not only be fighting for a world title, but where people would be talking about him. I think I did my job.”
Ryan Maquiñana is the boxing correspondent at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. He’s a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and The Ring’s Ratings Advisory Panel. E-mail him at email@example.com, check out his blog at www.maqdown.com or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.