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Martirosyan impressive in winning a decision

Times Staff Writer

Veteran boxing trainer Ronnie Shields has instructed multiple world champions, estimating the number to be 15. He predicts he’s working with another champion in Glendale super-welterweight Vanes Martirosyan.

A 2004 U.S. Olympian, Martirosyan flashed the powerful, fast right hand and stiff jab Friday night that have Shields excited. Yet, in remaining unbeaten with a six-round unanimous decision over Clarence Taylor at the Alameda Swap Meet, Martirosyan (18-0, 12 knockouts) also showed that work remains before a belt can be claimed. “Vanes just needs to settle down a little more, like going to the body more against this guy,” Shields said.

Martirosyan won with judges Lou Filipo, Max DeLuca and Marty Denkin awarding him scores of 60-54, but agreed he spent too much time attacking Taylor’s “hard head.”

Now training in Houston with Shields after parting with another respected veteran trainer, Freddie Roach, Martirosyan said any frustration he was feeling for failing to land a knockout against the overmatched Taylor (12-13) was lessened by the knowledge he’ll have a busy schedule this year. He’s scheduled to fight again in March.

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The 21-year-old drew cheers from a crowd estimated to be 1,000 who attended the Telefutura-televised card inside a cold, tented ring. The conditions forced main-event fighter Dario Esalas to enter the ring wearing a thick sweater and featured steam coming off the fighters’ bodies later in the evening.

In the night’s other fights, Esalas was knocked out in the second round by World Boxing Council Continental Americas super-lightweight champion Michele Rosales (19-1, 17 KOs); former WBC light-flyweight champion Brian Viloria (20-2) won a unanimous decision over Jose Garcia Bernal (26-11-1), knocking him down in the eighth round; and 21-year-old Juan Garcia, a lightweight from Phoenix, survived a forehead cut sustained in a head butt to remain unbeaten (14-0) with a unanimous decision over Puerto Rico’s Gamalier Rodriguez (5-1).

lance.pugmire@latimes.com


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