Martirosyan is now with trainer Joe Goossen, out of Ten Goose Boxing Gym in Van Nuys
BY DAMIAN CALHOUN / STAFF WRITER
Vanes Martirosyan made his professional debut in 2005, has recorded 33 career victories and has fought for world titles.
However, Friday night is a much-needed fresh start for the 2004 U.S. Olympian.
Martirosyan (33-1-1, 21 KOs) will be making his debut under the Goossen Tutor Promotions banner when he faces Mario Alberto Lozano (28-4, 22 KOs) at The Morongo Casino. The fight will be televised on ESPN2.
Martirosyan had been with Top Rank Promotions before joining Goossen earlier this year.
“I wish I would made the switch a couple of years ago,” he said. “Now, I’m with a promoter, who works with everybody. That’s the good thing about Dan (Goossen). He listens to all offers.”
While at Top Rank, Martirosyan had a front-row seat to boxing’s “Cold War” between the two biggest promotional companies, Top Rank and Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, who continue not to work with other.
Martirosyan was able to cross the great divide in 2012 when he met Erislandy Lara. The fight ended in the ninth round after Martirosyan suffered a cut over his left eye after a clash of heads. At the time of the stoppage, Martirosyan was ahead on one card. Another had Lara up and the third had the fight even.
Golden Boy Promotions won the purse bid for the rematch, but it never materialized.
“I was in the gym training,” he said. “They (Top Rank) talked me out of it because they didn’t want to work with Golden Boy. I couldn’t wait for the rematch.”
Last November, Martirosyan met Demetrius Andrade for the vacant WBO title. Again, Martirosyan came up short, suffering a majority decision loss.
“I was not there 100 percent in that fight,” he said.
Martirosyan’s former sparring partner was in charge of his corner that night. The most experienced man in the corner was his cutman.
“Sometimes, you need a slap from your trainer,” he said.
Martirosyan is now with trainer Joe Goossen, out of Ten Goose Boxing Gym in Van Nuys.
“We’ve been working on throwing more punches and working more on the inside,” Martirosyan said. “One day I sparred 12 rounds and the next, I sparred 15.”
Martirosyan believes he can get back into title contention quickly, starting with a good outing against Lozano, who has won nine of his previous 10 fights.
“I have to go in there with my A-game,” he said. “He’s (Lozano) taking this fight on one month’s notice, that tells me he was in shape. This is his chance to make a name for himself.
As for Martirosyan, he believes the best is yet to come.
“All of my abilities haven’t been shown yet.”
Banner Promotions’ Boxcino Tournament returns March 28 with the semifinals in the lightweight division. Chris Rudd meets Petr Petrov in one semifinal and Miguel Gonzalez meets Fernando Carcamo in the other. ESPN will televise.
The middleweight semifinals are set for April 18, with Vitali Kopylenko facing Willie Monroe Jr. and Brandon Adams meeting Raymond Gatica.
WBA super bantamweight champion Scott Quigg will defend his title against Nehomar Cermeno on April 19. ... Last Saturday’s Danny Garcia-Mauricio Herrera card from Puerto Rico drew an audience of 1.1 million viewers. .... Sergey Kovalev defends his WBO light heavyweight title March 29 against Cedric Agnew on HBO. Thomas Dulorme meets Karim Mayfield in a junior welterweight fight in the opener. ... The 2014 opener for Roy Englebrecht’s Fight Club OC is set for April 17. ... Riverside’s Josesito Lopez returns to the ring April 24 against Aaron Martinez. ... Riverside’s Chris Arreola’s rematch against Bermane Stiverne is set for May 10. A location hasn’t been announced. Stiverne defeated Arreola by unanimous decision last year. This bout will be for the vacant WBC heavyweight title.
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Vanes 'Nightmare' Martirosyan ready to start anew
With new promoter, trainer behind him, Glendale boxer takes on Mario Alberto Lozano
By Gabriel Rizk, Special to the Glendale News-Press
By the time he first got his new client in the gym, trainer Joe Goossen only had three weeks to get Vanes "Nightmare" Martirosyan ready for Friday night's title fight against Mario Alberto Lozano. Yet Goossen never had a sense the training camp was running behind schedule.
With trainer Joe Goosen keeping a close watch at right, Glendale boxer Vanes Martirosyan trains at Ten Goose Boxing gym in Van Nuys on Tuesday, March 11, 2014. Martirosyan is preparing for an upcoming fight against Mario Alberto Lozano on Friday, March 21, 2014. (Raul Roa / Staff Photographer / March 11, 2014)
"We accomplished a lot in that three weeks and the reason we were able to accomplish so much is because Vanes came to me in very good condition," Goossen said. "I think he had dedicated himself to getting physically fit to be ready to go fight and he spent a lot of time in the gym doing a lot of running, swimming and physical training outside the gym. It would have been much different if he were not working before he came to me, but because he was, it made the transition very easy."
If Martirosyan (33-1-1, 21 knockouts) sounds motivated, he has good reason to be. It's a time of unprecedented transition for the 27-year-old Glendale resident, whose career path has already had its share of plot twists, and he's got considerable incentive to make it all work. The future of his career depends on it.
Martirosyan's first professional loss in November to Demetrius Andrade put an end to a forgettable 2013 calendar year in which he faced – and lost to – just one notable opponent in two outings and saw his World Boxing Council light middleweight contender status wither on the vine as promoter Top Rank struggled to find a market for him.
An end to his nearly nine-year partnership with Top Rank soon followed the loss before Dan Goossen stepped in to sign Martirosyan to Goossen Tutor Promotions, where he will look to reignite his world title bid beginning with Friday's 10-round clash for the vacant World Boxing Organization Inter-Continental light middleweight title.
The main-event bout will be televised live from Morongo Casino in Cabazon on ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights," which begins at 6 p.m. PDT.
Martirosyan claims he came out on the short end of a split decision in the WBO light middleweight title match versus Andrade because he didn't perform to his fullest abilities. But he also suggests that the recent dip in his career arc had a lot to do with getting less than 100% backing from Top Rank and his previous trainer, Freddie Roach.
"It feels good to be put first and not third, fourth or fifth on the list as far as the promotion and the training goes," said Martirosyan, who now adds Joe Goossen to a list of well-respected veteran boxing trainers he has been linked with, one that includes Roach, Ronnie Shields and, for a very brief stint in 2011, Buddy McGirt. "I feel really good and I feel like a pro for the first time in my career.
"As soon as we walked into Dan's office we felt the energy and it was natural fit. And working with Joe, everything has been different; I've never sparred 15 rounds in my life."
The Goossen Tutor era for Martirosyan was supposed to begin with a fight against WBC Latino champ Luciano Cuello, but Cuello pulled out of the matchup, reportedly out of dissatisfaction with the purse.
Instead Martirosyan gets the 26-year-old Lozano, who was a unanimous decision loss to Charles Hatley on Nov. 7 away from entering this fight on a streak of 10 straight wins. He's still on an overall solid run, with wins in 19 of his last 21, although he rarely strays far from his native Chihuahua, Mexico to fight.
"He's a fighter; he kind of reminds me of Juan Manuel Marquez, the way he throws his punches," Martirosyan said. "He's going to come to fight, I'm sure. He's young, also, so this is his time for him. We've got to be on our 'A' game. It's going to be a good fight."
Lozano (28-4, 22 KOs), an accurate puncher with dangerous knockout power, said he will look to test Martirosyan early, but will adapt his approach as the fight goes on.
"We're trying to be the first one to throw punches and go forward and be very smart," Lozano said. "He's a tough fighter; he throws two or three punches, but hard punches. My style, whether counter-punching or going forward, is going to depend on how Vanes fights."
If Martirosyan's past few fights are any indication, the longer Lozano can draw out the fight, the better for him.
Martirosyan put Andrade down in the first round before his work rate began to decline rapidly from round to round to the point where Andrade looked to be the clear winner on points before the surprising split verdict came down. And in his Nov. 2012 WBC eliminator bout against Erislandy Lara, the scorecards were split and Martirosyan was still very much searching for a way to take control by the time a Lara head butt ended that fight in a technical draw in the ninth.
"I don't want to say aggressively, but fighting more effectively in the beginning is going to be the key," Martirosyan said. "We want to be more effective rather than box more."
Joe Goossen has also made some tweaks to Martirosyan's arsenal and approach for this fight, trying to get him to close the distance and develop a better inside game and go to the body more.
"He's got an A-plus right hand," Joe Goossen said. "Guys that have such good right hands sometimes tend to depend on them maybe a little bit more than balancing out the attack on both sides and I think that's what we worked on.
"He's got really educated legs; he's very smart on his feet," Goossen added. "He took to my type of training, which can be very intensive. It's always great when the personalities mesh and I think our personalities work hand in glove."
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