Vanes Martirosyan will be taking on undefeated Jermell Charlo on Saturday, March 28 from the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas to ascertain who is the bigger threat in the junior middleweight division. The winner of this fight is sure to land bigger fights down the road against some of the top junior middleweights in the world like Canelo Alvarez, Erislandy Lara, Joshua Clottey, and Cornelius Bundrage.
Martirosyan enters 28 March with a record of 35-1 with 21 knockouts. He lost a close split decision against Demetrius Andrade in November 2013. A win in this fight could secure a rematch between him and Andrade in the near future. Since the unfortunate loss, Martirosyan has rallied to win his last two fights in dominating fashion against the likes of Mario Lozano and Willie Nelson. On the other foot, Charlo also possesses a victory over Lozano, but Martirosyan was able to drop ‘Aguila’ to the canvas in the second round.
Both fighters are not known for their punching power, but one fighter clearly has the edge in that category, and it’s Martirosyan. In an interview with FightHype.com, Martirosyan had nothing but respect for Charlo and the people surrounding him but warned come March 28, the 28-year old fighter will show none of that in the ring.
“Jermell is a great fighter. We trained together in Texas. The person I respect the most is Ronnie Shields. I really love him. He is a great man, a great trainer. I also love Jermell Charlo’s father. His father was a good man. They’re good kids; they are good fighters. But on March 28, he is my enemy,” an austere, but sincere Martirosyan said.
By the rankings, this has the potential to be an exhilarating fight. This match features two of the highest ranked junior middleweight contenders against each other. Two out of the three sanctioning bodies rate them inside the top five while the WBO has them 1-2. When viewed from that complexion, it not only raises inquisitiveness, but answers the call of fans who have been begging for fighters to fight the best. This is what boxing needs.
Stylistically, Martirosyan knows he is dealing with a man who loves to out-box his opponents. “I think Jermell is more of a boxer. The way he fought Rosado, he is more of a boxer. The other one is more of a puncher (Jermall Charlo). First they offered me the other guy then they changed and I don’t know why but whatever it is I really didn’t care. I told them to flip a coin and just let me know. It’s good styles. I think the style is going to be good. It’s going to be a good fight,” an optimistic Martirosyan said.
Martirosyan’s last fight was against Willie Nelson in October 2014. Nelson, standing at 6 ft 3, is one of the tallest, if not the tallest junior middleweight in the world. However, Nelson has had a persistent problem with using his height to his advantage, getting too careless on the inside and getting busted open. Although Nelson found success early, the Cleveland native got careless and once again found himself getting tagged unnecessarily. Before you know it, it was the 10th round and the fight was lost. Martirosyan knew that out-boxing Nelson was going to be a tall task, so they worked to expose his weaknesses.
“I felt comfortable. Joe (Goossen) got me in the position where I’m comfortable on the inside to throw inside punches. That’s what we had to do with Willie Nelson. We couldn’t box him. He was too long and too tall so we had to go on the inside,” Martirosyan smiled as he recalled his fight against Nelson. “We put in a lot of things to my game to work on the inside.”Joe Goossen is a legendary trainer and has had a string of phenomenal fighters during his tutelage. Martirosyan’s experience with Joe has been no different than some of the greats.
“It’s been great. I talked to Abel Sanchez, Gennady Golovkin’s coach, and he talked to me about Joe. He told me that Joe is a trainer that knows how to teach an old dog new tricks. So he’s teaching me a lot of new things, and I came from Abel Sanchez and he respects him and Joe says the same thing,” added Martirosyan. “I’m starting to feel so comfortable as a professional in the ring and kind of finding myself.”
When it was brought up that Martirosyan is not known as much of a trash talker in the sport, he turned the tables and took some shots at Jermell Charlo.
“I’m going to beat his ass. He knows that. He’s scared of me. I can feel that he is nervous. We sparred. He knows what he’s getting himself into, but it’s not the Vanes that he saw in sparring, it’s a Vanes that’s way better than that,” a confident Martirosyan asserted.
We will see what transpires in the ring on March 28.