Frank Martin determined while watching footage of Artem Harutyunyan that he beat a better boxer in his last fight.

Martin’s dominant performance against previously unbeaten Dominican contender Michel Rivera represented the most impressive victory of the ascending southpaw’s five-year pro career. The Armenian-born Harutyunyan is undefeated as well, yet he has utilized an unconventional, vastly different style than Rivera to reach 12-0 (7 KOs).

“I wouldn’t say that he’s better than Rivera,” Martin told “He looks like he got an awkward style. I would definitely say doing studying, Rivera passed the eye test more, definitely. You know, I just think this guy gonna be tough and just there.”

Martin (17-0, 12 KOs) and Harutyunyan will square off in the main event of a “Showtime Championship Boxing” tripleheader Saturday night at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas (10 p.m. EDT; 7 p.m. PDT).

Harutyunyan, 32, won a light welterweight bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The WBC’s eighth-ranked lightweight contender easily out-pointed rugged Mexican Humberto Galindo (14-3-1, 11 KOs) in his last fight, a 10-rounder in June 2022 in Hamburg, Germany, where Harutyunyan resides and trains.

“I feel that he got like a rugged type of style,” said Martin, who is ranked second by the WBA, fifth by the WBC, sixth by the IBF and seventh by the WBO. “He try to offset you with his movement. Then he switch it up. Then he try to come in with that peekaboo style, bobbing his head back and forth and all of that stuff. I would say that got one of them unpredictable styles in a way. You know, he throw punches from a lotta different angles. He not like as fundamental of a fighter, so it’s gonna be one of them things of me just having to figure out that style.”

Martin, 28, easily figured out Rivera’s style relatively early in their 12-round fight December 17 at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

The Detroit native dropped Rivera (24-1, 14 KOs) in the seventh round and beat him convincingly on all three scorecards. Judges Tim Cheatham (120-107), Dave Moretti (117-110) and Steve Weisfeld (118-109) all scored Martin a wide winner over Rivera.

FanDuel sportsbook made Martin a 14-1 favorite versus Harutyunyan in advance of their 12-round, 135-pound fight. A mindful Martin respects, though, that this is a potentially career-changing opportunity for an unknown underdog to make a name for himself.

“Those guys are definitely the most dangerous,” Martin said, “so I’m just going into this fight super on point mentally and physically, and defensively as well. I feel like I’m on top of my game, you know, I don’t got nothing to worry about.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.