By Rick Reeno
Eric Gomez, Vice President and matchmaker for Golden Boy Promotions, informed BoxingScene.com that Vanes Martirosyan turned down a "very good offer" to face Erislandy Lara in a WBC final eliminator, with the winner falling in line to fight WBC champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (40-0-1, 29KOs).
Gomez reached out to Carl Morretti, VP for Top Rank, who advised him to cancel Friday's purse bid because Vanes was heading in another direction.
"This is the second time he turned down a final eliminator. The first time he turned down a fight with Alfredo Angulo because he didn't want to go to Mexico. I don't know what the reason is with Lara. We made a very good offer," Gomez told BoxingScene.com.
The WBC ordered Lara (16-1-1, 11KOs) vs. Vanes (32-0, 20KOs) after James Kirkland suffered a shoulder injury. Last year, Vanes defeated Saul Roman in a "semi-eliminator" and the victor was supposed to fight the winner of March's "other semi-eliminator" between Kirkland and Carlos Molina. Kirkland won the other half of the puzzle, but suffered a right shoulder injury during the contest and last month he underwent successful arthroscopic surgery to repair two tears in his shoulder.
Because Kirkland [ranked at 2] was unavailable, the WBC ordered Vanes [ranked at 1] to fight Lara [ranked at 3].
Vanes' decision is not surprised. A few weeks ago, Serge Martirosyan, the uncle and manager of Vanes, informed BoxingScene that his nephew was willing to fight Lara - but only if Canelo was contractually bound to fight the winner. There was very little chance of that happening. Canelo is already scheduled to headline his own pay-per-view on September 15th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, with Kirkland being a strong possibility as the opponent.
"Vanes has been going through this with the WBC for two years now. He's been fighting eliminators, semi-eliminators and now they've come back with this Lara thing. Again, we'll fight all of the Laras in the world - if we get it in writing, a 100% guarantee, that the winner will get Canelo," Serge told BoxingScene a few weeks ago.
Vanes returns to action on June 16th, as part of the Julio Cesar Chavez-Andy Lee undercard at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.