By Keith Idec
Vanes Martirosyan mostly has competed at or just above the junior middleweight limit of 154 pounds since he turned pro in April 2005.
Like the vast majority of boxers, the 5-feet-11 Martirosyan often has had to struggle to make weight. These past two weeks have been completely different for the longtime 154-pound contender, however, because those six extra pounds have made that typically grueling process much easier for him.
Before his last fight – a 154-pound championship rematch against Erislandy Lara in May 2016 – Martirosyan had to lose eight pounds in the 24 hours prior to their weigh-in.
The 32-year-old Martirosyan feels fresher this week and expects to be stronger than usual when he enters the ring Saturday night for a potentially career-changing chance to upset one of the best boxers in the sport. Gennady Golovkin has fought at the middleweight limit of 160 pounds throughout his 12-year pro career, but Martirosyan (36-3-1, 21 KOs) is about an inch taller than the defending champion and could out-weigh Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) by a few pounds once their middleweight title bout begins Saturday night at StubHub Center in Carson, California (HBO; 11 p.m. ET).
“I always fought better at higher weight classes,” Martirosyan said during a conference call this week. “Whenever there was a catch weight in my career, I always did better. So I think it’s gonna be good because I don’t have to kill myself to make . I remember when I fought Lara, the day before the weigh-in I was 162. I had to cut eight pounds to make 154. This was 24 hours before the weigh-in. So I kind of had trouble making  sometimes.
“But I made it easy, no problem, because, you know, the struggle is like that for all fighters. You know, for a short camp like this, it’s perfect. The weight’s good and everything is good, and we just can’t wait to rock and roll. I’ll be stronger at . I might be bigger. I don’t know. You know what I mean? But we’re good, man. I think 160 is a good weight class for me and we’re gonna be there for a while, I think.”
Martirosyan lost a 12-round unanimous decision to Cuba’s Lara (25-3-2, 14 KOs), who then owned the WBA and IBO super welterweight titles, in their rematch. His first two losses were a 12-round, split-decision defeat to former WBA and WBO 154-pound champ Demetrius Andrade (25-0, 16 KOs) in November 2013 and a unanimous-decision loss to WBC super welterweight champ Jermell Charlo (30-0, 15 KOs) in a 10-round, non-title fight in March 2015.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.