Story by Manouk Akopyan from Yerevan Magazine
On Saturday night, it was the ongoing rise and undefeated story of HyeFighter Vanes Martirosyan, who catapulted his name into every boxing circle and stole the show when he dismantled Mexican Saul Roman with a seventh round TKO in a career-defining victory.
Martirosyan is now 30-0 with 19 knockouts – and a WBC Silver junior middleweight champion.
“I think tonight, I made a statement,” Martirosyan said after the fight.
The milestone victory did not come easy for Martirosyan, who overcame adversity early in the fight after being knocked down in the first round with a Roman right cross, left hook combination. A bloody nose and a cut over his right eye from an accidental headbutt didn’t discourage the rising star through the first six rounds of a closely contested bout.
The seventh round started off well for Roman, who had Martirosyan hurt and backpedaling at one point. After clinching and regaining his composure, Martirosyan turned the tide and dropped Roman with a right cross midway into the round. From there on out, Martirosyan attacked a defenseless and dazed Roman with a flurry of debilitating punches, forcing referee Jon Schorle to stop the fight at 2:58.
“When he came and sat down after the first round, I told him ‘if you want to be a great fighter and a champion, you better forget about the knock down.’ I love him because he listens,” said his trainer and cornerman, Edmond Tarverdyan. “He had much quicker hands and better boxing skills tonight. He did what he was supposed to do. The crowd loved it. He took some (punches) and he showed his heart.”
The gritty performance was everything Martirosyan could’ve asked for after sub-par victories in two of his last three fights. Afterwards in the locker room, a satisfied Martirosyan admitted that the first round knock down was a “wake up call and the best thing that happened to me.”
At the stoppage – through six rounds – judge Marty Sammon had a draw at 57-57, judge Pat Russell had Martirosyan winning 57-56 and judge Hubert Minn had Roman by three points, 58-55.
With the elimination fight, Martirosyan is now a mandatory challenger for a WBC light middleweight title, which will likely be the winner of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez versus Ryan Rhodes next week.
Whoever it will be, Martirosyan showed Saturday night he has the tools to pick apart any opponent. His convincing and crowd-pleasing victory proved that Abraham and Darchinyan are officially on the hot seat.
For the guy nicknamed “The Nightmare,” the passing of the torch is a dream come true.