By Rick Reeno
BoxingScene.com has been advised that Cuban junior middleweight Erislandy Lara (16-1-1, 11KOs) is ready and willing to fight Vanes Martirosyan (32-0, 20KOs) as soon as possible. The WBC has officially ordered a final eliminator between Lara and Vanes, with the winner becoming the mandatory challenger to the title currently held by Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (39-0-1, 29KOs), who defends his belt at the MGM Grand on May 5th against former three division champion "Sugar" Shane Mosley.
However, both Vanes and his promoter, Top Rank, are not happy with the WBC's recent ruling. Vanes firmly believes that he already earned his shot by going through several eliminators, including last June's fight against Saul Roman - which earned Vanes the WBC's silver title.
But, the WBC advised BoxingScene that Vanes-Roman was a "semi-eliminator" and the victor was supposed to fight the winner of March's "other semi-eliminator" between James Kirkland and Carlos Molina. Kirkland won the other half of the puzzle, but suffered a right shoulder injury during the contest and early this month he underwent successful arthroscopic surgery to repair two tears in his shoulder.
Because Kirkland [ranked at 2] is unavailable, the WBC ordered Vanes [ranked at 1] to fight Lara [ranked at 3].