Frank Martin isn’t concerned with the criticism competitors in the lightweight division and fans have directed toward him after his tougher-than-anticipated victory over Artem Harutyunyan.

Martin admits that his timing was off and that he wasn’t at his best Saturday night. After going 12 rounds with the previously unbeaten, unknown Harutyunyan (12-1, 7 KOs), Martin also determined that the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist from Germany is a much more capable opponent than most people expected.

“It is what it is,” Martin told a group of reporters after his victory. “You know what I mean? If they got something to say about it, hey, it is what it is. You know, so whenever those fights happen [against top lightweights], we’ll see what the reactions will be in those fights. You know, so don’t – if they see flaws in this performance – you know what I mean?

“[Harutyunyan] was actually tougher than what a lotta people, you know, gave him his props for. People were really sleeping on the guy. You know, he was an Olympian, you know, so he had a little awkward style. You know, he had power. The guys they fightin’ ain’t even got no power. So, I ain’t worried about what they talking about.”

The left-handed Martin (18-0, 12 KOs) entered the ring at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas as a 12-1 favorite according to most sportsbooks.

Harutyunyan’s unconventional style and consistent pressure enabled him to make their fight very competitive during the first nine rounds.

Trainer Derrick James implored Martin to become much more aggressive before the 10th round began. James told Martin he was behind on the cards and needed a knockout to win.

Martin responded by beating up Harutyunyan over the final three rounds. Winning the 10th, 11th and 12th rounds and forcing Harutyunyan to take a knee with 56 seconds remaining in their fight made Martin a unanimous winner on the cards of judges Tim Cheatham (115-112), Max De Luca (115-112) and Steve Weisfeld (114-113), who would’ve scored their fight a draw if Harutyunyan hadn’t taken a knee.

“Derrick, you know, he big on, you know, not leaving stuff in the judges’ hands,” Martin said. “You know, so I respect it, you know, and I trust what he was saying. He said I was down, so you know, he was pressing the issue for me to pick it up and I need to get a stoppage. You know, so I was looking for it and, you know, then that opportunity didn’t present itself. But I did turn up and I pressed the issue in those later rounds, when I needed to.”

Martin lamented that he wasn’t more aggressive earlier in their fight, which the Detroit native believes would’ve made their “Showtime Championship Boxing” main event easier for him.

“It was just like when I was aggressive and moving forward, it was like I was doing what I wanted to do,” Martin said. “It was just like, ‘Why wait for him to throw all these shots? You may be catching him, but he throwing punches. So, don’t just be like catching him. Go forward and, you know, shoot your shots. Because when you going forward, like he backin’ up. You know, so just shoot your shots.’ ”

The 28-year-old Martin had hoped to build on the momentum he established by dominating Dominican contender Michel Rivera in his prior appearance. Martin dropped Rivera (24-1, 14 KOs) in the seventh round December 17 at The Cosmopolitan and won their 12-round bout by wide distances on all three scorecards (120-107, 118-109, 117-110).

“I mean, I didn’t have the performance I wanted to have,” Martin said. “You know, I got the ‘W.’ You know, that’s all that matters, keepin’ my head up at the end of the day. You know, it wasn’t my best performance in my eyes. You know, I got so much in my arsenal, but tonight it was I was just off a little tad bit.”

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