By Jackie Kallen
HBO is giving us a fight card to be thankful for this weekend. They are serving up four good matches.
It’s always satisfying and exciting when two undefeated boxers step into the ring against one another. In Corpus Christi on Saturday night, 33-0-1 Vanes Martirosyan will take on 19-0 Demetrius Andrade for the vacant WBO Light Middleweight title.
Twenty seven year-old Martirosyan, known as “Nightmare,” hails from Armenia but lives in Glendale, CA. He is a 2004 Olympian. Twenty five year-old “Boo Boo” Andrade is a southpaw from Providence, RI, who is also a former Olympian (2008). Both men can punch and both men can box. This makes it a real chess game.
Nightmare has the edge when it comes to experience. He’s had 15 more fights and has fought 160 rounds compared to Boo Boo’s 74. He faced undefeated Joe Greene in June 2010 and beat him decisively, winning the NABO, NABF and WBA belts at 154 pounds. He also gave Kassim Ouma a boxing lesson earlier in 2010. He doesn’t seem to care much what his opponent’s record is or whom he has fought.
In 2011, Martirosyan stopped Saul Roman in the 7th round, coming back from his own 1st round knockdown. A year ago he got a TD against tough Erislandy Lara due to an accidental head butt in the 9th round. It was a close fight prior to the stoppage. Seven months later he took on journeyman Ryan Davis and scored an easy 2nd round KO.
Which brings us to this weekend’s face-off. I am picking Andrade.
In the co-main event, my former fighter Nonito Donaire will once again be fighting Vic Darchinyan. Their first fight, in 2007, ended up with Donaire scoring a 5th round knockout. In April of this year, Nonito lost a close decision in New York to Guillermo Rigondeaux. He is looking for this weekend’s fight to erase that memory from his mind.
As for 37 year-old Darchinyan, he is 2-2 in his last four fights. He went over to Tokyo in 2012 and dropped a decision to Shinsuke Yamanaka for the WBC bantamweight belt. I could be wrong, but I don’t see him beating Donaire.
Boxing fans are also looking forward to the featherweight bout between 22-0 Nicholas Walters from Jamaica and 25-5-1 Mexican Alberto Garza. The WBA Featherweight belt is on the line and few people seem to think Garza will win. But boxing is the sort of sport where any man has a puncher’s chance of scoring an upset. Garza has a decent punch, but his chin is not the best. He has been stopped three times already and Walters is planning to turn that 3 into a 4.
The main event is an interesting one. Super featherweight Mikey Garcia, 32-0, is fighting super-skilled Roman Martinez, whose only loss was a failed outing in Glasgow in 2010 against Ricky Burns. He has won his last four after the loss. From Puerto Rico, “Rocky” Martinez is a solid fighter. He always comes to win.
Whatever 30 year-old Rocky brings to the ring, it’s hard to imagine him beating the 25 year-old Oxnard sensation with the heavy fists. 84% of the men who have stood in front of Garcia were no longer standing when the fight was over. Only five men went the distance and no one has done it in his past 11 fights. It was back in May 2010 that Pedro Navarette escaped being stopped.
I wish Rocky the best, but it would be more than a surprise if he beats Garcia.