GLENDALE â€” Glendale's own Vanes â€œNightmareâ€ Martirosyan is back on track following a lower back injury suffered in late February. The Top Rank super welterweight's bout against Angel â€œToroâ€ Hernandez is back on as well.
Originally scheduled for March 28 in West Covina before it was scuttled by a flare up of spasms in Martirosyan's back, the fight with Hernandez (28-6, 16 knockouts) will take place at 6 p.m. on June 26 at the Orleans Casino in Las Vegas.
The injury problems are far behind Martirosyan now and his only discomfort of late has been a combination of the itch to return to the ring and the climbing temperatures in Houston, where he is currently training for the 10-round co-main event to be televised live on the Versus Network.
â€œ[Vanes] has never experienced this kind of heat before,â€ said Martirosyan's trainer Ronnie Shields of the oncoming summer in Houston, which has become Martirosyan's second home during training. â€œHe's complaining a little bit about the heat, but he's working through it.
â€œ[The back injury] is way behind him now. He's looking good and working hard and everything is going great for him right now.â€
After the postponement of the March 28 bout, Martirosyan briefly returned to Glendale for about three weeks while he sought treatment and recovered from his injury.
â€œI did some therapy when I came back home,â€ the 22-year old Armenian native said. â€œI got a back massage and I went to see a doctor and chiropractor and they took care of it in, I would say, about a month ... It took a while.â€
Martirosyan, a 2004 Olympian, made his professional debut in 2005 and has since amassed a record of 19-0 with 13 knockouts.
But he has not fought since Feb. 7, when he defeated Michi Munoz via third-round technical knockout at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Martirosyan also fought on Jan. 4 and had a total of six bouts in 2007
â€œI'm actually kind of mad because every day I wake up like, 'I wish today was the day I was fighting,'â€ Martirosyan said. â€œI've been in training camp for over three months now, so I just can't wait to get in there.â€
The Munoz fight was also a co-main event bout and marked Martirosyan's headlining debut.
Now, with another high-profile co-main event on the horizon, the Top Rank fighter appears ready to resume the ascent he was on before the interruption.
â€œI'm more than 100% ready,â€ he said. â€œI'm so excited, I'm counting down the days until the fight.â€
?GABRIEL RIZK covers sports. He can be reached at (818) 637-3226 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.