Erislandy Lara vs. Vanes Martirosyan this Saturday in WBC 154 lb eliminator
By Dan Ambrose: Unbeaten Vanes Martirosyan (32-0, 20 KO’s) faces his toughest test of his 7-year pro career this Saturday night in a WBC junior middleweight eliminator bout against Erislany Lara (17-1-1, 11 KO’s) at the Wynn Resort, in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. The winner of the HBO televised bout will become the mandatory challenger for WBC junior middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, although it remains to be seen whether they’ll ever actually get a fight with him because some boxing fans see Alvarez vacating his title rather than fighting Lara or Martirosyan.
Martirosyan, a former 2004 U.S Olympian, has a lot of talent going for him. However, he’s not been rushed and has spent the last eight years of his career facing largely weak opposition and letting time slip buy without going after the title belts. It looks like his promoters at Top Rank believe he’s finally ready, hence his fight with the 29-year-old Lara.
It’s not the ideal type of fight for a guy that has been matched softly for his entire career. But obviously they want to position Martirosyan to where he can go after the only available big money champion in the 154 pound division and that’s Canelo Alvarez. The other champions either don’t bring in big money for a fight or in the case of Mayweather, would likely never agree to fight the Top Ranked promoted Martirosyan
Martirosyan has the size and power advantage over Lara. However, Lara is the faster guy and the better skilled of the two. But for Martirosyan to win this fight he’s going to have to try and take the fight to Lara because he’s not going to out-box him. Lara is too accurate and much too quick on his feet for Martirosyan to beat him by boxing him from the outside.
Martirosyan defeated 42-year-old Troy Lowry by a 3rd round TKO last February. Martirosyan has done nothing since then, and it’s it’s best that he didn’t fight another time if all he’s going to fight is lower level opposition.
Lara showed vulnerability in dealing with a pressure fighter last year in Carlos Molina, and had huge problems in that fight in getting a 10 round draw out of it. Martirosyan isn’t an inside fighter, so that’s one thing that Lara has going for him on Saturday.
On the undercard of this fight will be unbeaten featherweight contender Mikey Garcia (29-0, 25 KO’s) facing Jonathan Barros (34-3-1, 18 KO’s) in a step up fight for Garcia. He wants to fight WBO featherweight champion Orlando Salido next year but he’s been hampered with weak match-making his entire career.
It’s hard to know how well Garcia will do in this fight because he’s picked up a ton of habits due to the weak match-making done for him. He doesn’t throw combinations and looks stiff as a board and not particularly athletic. Don’t be surprised if we see an upset in this fight if Barros can handle one of Garcia’s occasional pot shots.