LAS VEGAS - In the co-feature on SHOWTIME®, undefeated Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo (26-0, 11 KOs) of Houston, won a close, unanimous 10-round decision over Vanes Martirosyan (35-2-1, 21 KOs), of Glendale, Calif., in a clash of top-five ranked super welterweights. There were no knockdowns in a bout scored 97-93 and 96-94 twice.
Charlo silenced critics of his resume by defeating his toughest opponent to date.
He was surprised at the way his match with Martirosyan played out. “I definitely expected a much rougher fight,’’ he said. “This was easy compared to what I thought we were in for.
“I fought smart and when I was told to pick it up, I knew what time it was so I did. I’m absolutely ready for a shot at a world title.’’
Martirosyan, who was cut over the left eye from an accidental headbutt in the eighth round, was visibly disappointed with the result.
“I positively feel 100 percent that I won that fight,’’ he said. “I was the aggressor and forced the action. All he did was run. I landed the cleaner punches. I definitely felt I won the last round.
“I was stunned by the headbutt [that resulted in the bout being halted while he and the ringside physician discussed the cut]. Sure my left eye bothered me after that and it was blurry. But that’s no excuse.
“I felt I was hurting him. He never hurt me once. I really don’t understand this decision.’’