On Saturday, September 7, undefeated, former U.S. Olympian, Vanes Martirosyan (pronounced Mar-tee-ro-zee-yan) will get a shot at his first world championship when he takes on fellow, former U.S. Olympian Demetrius Andrade (pronounced An-draid) in a 12 rounder at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The bout, which will be televised live on HBO Championship Boxing, will be the co-feature on that Super Middleweight clash between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Bryan Vera.
Martiroysan (33-0-1, 21 KOs) from Glendale, California is the #1 ranked contender by the WBC plus their reigning Silver Light Middleweight Champion. He was born May 1, 1986, in Abovyan, Armenia. His father, Norik Martirosyan was a boxer, worked for an industrial company and was also in the army.
Martirosyan and his family moved to Glendale, CA when he was four. After discovering a local boxing gym, his father had him start his training at seven. In due course, the youngster was taken out of junior high school by his father and became home-schooled once it became apparent he needed to keep his son’s fighting confined to the ring.
Martirosyan was an eight-time National Champion plus a Golden Gloves Champion as an amateur. In 2004, after defeating Haiti’s Andre Berto in the 2004 Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Tijuana, Mexico, Martirosyan secured a spot on the U. S. Olympic Team as a welterweight, on the same team as Andre Ward and Andre Dirrell.
Martirosyan got his nickname of “Nightmare” when fighting his way through the Olympic Trials and beating all these highly ranked fighters to become the first ever Armenian to represent the U. S. in the Olympics. He ended his amateur career with 120 wins and 10 losses, beating such notables as Austin Trout (3 times), Andre Berto and Timothy Bradley. He also avenged every loss except for his losses to Nick Casal of Niagara Falls, N. Y. and Lorenzo Aragon of Santa Isabel de las Lajas, Cuba.
High-profile people handling his career
At the age of 20, Martirosyan turned pro with Bob Arum’s promotional company Top Rank. The six-footer is now co-managed by his uncle, Serge Martirosyan and Shelly Finkel who also manages and advises world champions such as Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, Manny Pacquiao and Evander Holyfield.
The trainers who have helped? Early on it was Ronnie Shields and now he has Freddie Roach in his corner.
Martirosyan’s toughest outings?
Apart from his losses as an amateur, Martirosyan has had it pretty easy. The toughest pro fights were his bout against the veteran Saul Roman on the HBO televised portion of the Chavez, Jr. vs Sebastian Zbik undercard and that technical draw with Erislandy Lara last November, when Martirosyan suffered a serious cut over his left eye after an accidental head butt in the ninth round.
Román knocked Vanes down in the first round and gave him trouble in the next two. Then Vanes came back in the fourth and fifth. When the seventh round began, Román cornered Vanes against the ropes and landed several solid shots to the head. Later, in that same round, Vanes trapped Román against the ropes and knocked him down. After he got up, Vanes landed a hard right to his chin and followed with a barrage of blows while Román leaned against the ropes, causing the fight to be stopped and turning what seemed to be near-defeat into a victory.
Martirosyan said he likes the idea of facing a fellow unbeaten Olympian. “It’s ’04 versus ’08. In 2004, when I was going to the Olympics, I heard about this kid coming up in the amateurs. Now we get a chance to fight each other. I think he’s one of the best junior middleweights in the world and I’m happy we’re both getting a shot at the title. I’ve seen him in the pros. He hasn’t fought anybody with a big name. I think I’ve fought better guys than he has. But one of us will take a big step forward and the other will take a step back. It’s do or die for both of us. I just can’t wait.”
At times Martirosyan’s quotes have been memorable. When asked about fighting Alfredo Angulo, he answered, “If they had given me a better offer, I would’ve fought him in his backyard,” adding that he’s “not interested in peanuts. I’ve never turned down a fight, only an embarrassing offer.”
Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade (19-0-0, 13 KOs) is from Providence, Rhode Island, a lefty like Lara, and he too can be pretentious.
He also started boxing at the age of 7 and won a gold medal in the 2002 National Silver Gloves (12-13 age category) at 112 lbs. From there he competed in the National Junior Olympics 138 lbs. class in 2003 and 154 lbs. class in 2004. In 2005 and 2006, he was the U. S. Amateur Welterweight Champ and in 2006 the National Golden Gloves Champ. In 2007, he was the Silver Medalist at the Pan American Games and qualified for the U. S. Olympic Team. Along the way he beat such notables as Charles Hatley and Keith Thurman.
In 2007, he won the Gold Medal for the U. S. at the World Championships in Chicago and of course represented the U. S. in the Beijing Olympics.
After turning professional in October of 2008, he has reeled off 19 straight wins with the most notable being his wins over Chris Chatman of City Boxing in San Diego, Grady Brewer, Rudy Cisneros and Freddy Hernandez.
Trainers have been David Keefe and his father Paul Andrade until 2012 and up until recently Virgil Hunter. On Andrade’s twitter account he mentioned that Hunter is no longer his trainer.
“I’m looking forward to this fight,” said Andrade. “And have been waiting for this fight ever since I walked into the gym at age seven. I always wanted to be champion of the world and on September 7, I will be crowned champion. I wanted to win an Olympic gold medal and since they took that from me, I’m going to take this world title. I was a 2008 Olympian and he made it in 2004. I will show him that if I was around in 2003 and 2004, he would not have made the team.”
More than likely this will be the most competitive match of the show as we don’t know what to expect in that main event involving Julio Ceasar Chavez Jr. and the inconsistent Brian Vera.
Vera has lost to Isaac Rodrigues, James Kirkland, Craig McEwan, won and lost to Andy Lee, beat Sergio Mora twice, beat Serhiy Dzinziruk and gotten thrashed by Max Bursak.