By Chris Robinson
On Wednesday afternoon, junior middleweight contender Vanes Martirosyan (32-0, 20 KO’s) was spotted inside of the Top Rank Gym in Las Vegas, Nevada for a media day ahead of his clash with once-beaten Cuban southpaw Erislandy Lara (17-1-1, 11 KO’s). Martirosyan-Lara takes place on Saturday night inside of Wynn Resort in an HBO-televised attraction.
Having been working with five-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach for several fights, Martirosyan admits that it is time to get his coach a much-needed win. Roach saw Manny Pacquiao, Amir Khan, and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. lose high-profile bouts in a span of four months recently yet Martirosyan is out to end the streak.
“I’m ready to stop that and it’s going to be good,” Martirosyan claimed as he spoke with BoxingScene.com’s Rick Reeno and myself. “Freddie’s going to be on top again. We’re going to be on top again and it’s time to go.”
Chavez’s loss to Martinez was highly-dramatic, as the brash former champion was thoroughly outclassed for eleven and a half rounds before hurting and dropping Martinez in the twelfth and final round. And despite the near heroics that occured, the scorecards reading 118-109 twice and 117-110 told the tale of how dominant Martinez truly was.
In hearing Martirosyan assess the bout, you sense his belief that his stable mate was just a little bit too late in stepping up his attack.
“We always thought that if he put on pressure, it would be a good fight,” said Martirosyan. “Because I saw the [Antonio] Margarito fight where Margarito fought Martinez. I know it was early in his career, but I don’t think Martinez takes a lot of pressure well. And if Chavez had stepped it up earlier, I don’t know what would have happened.”
Martirosyan was then asked if Chavez’s inability to mount an offensive attack was because of his own doing or whether credit should be given to Martinez for nullifying him throughout the fight.
“Martinez is such a good boxer, it’s hard to tell,” Martirosyan would admit. “He’s athletic, he’s always in shape; you can’t really tell. You guys saw what happened. If he could have done it then he should have done it. He didn’t do it, so I guess that means he couldn’t have.”
In the wake of his first professional defeat, Chavez tested positive for marijuana and was subsequently suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission indefinitely. Chavez also has apparently cut ties with his father and former three-division champion Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., claiming that he will no longer be allowing him into his camp to offer assistance.
Despite all the theatrics taking place, Martirosyan feels we haven’t seen the last of young Chavez.
“He’s still young,” said Martirosyan. “I made mistakes in my life before too. Not mistakes like that, failing drug tests or nothing like that, but I’ve made mistakes. Everybody learns from their mistakes. I’m sure he’ll bounce back and Alex Ariza is going to help him out a lot and I think he’s going to come back strong.”