Local fight scene heats up

The following are odds and ends from the local sports scene.



Undefeated Glendale boxer Vanes "Nightmare" Martirosyan's rise to blockbuster fights and title bouts seems to be yet again going slower than hoped for, as Martirosyan is scheduled to fight Troy Lowry on the undercard of an HBO World Championship Boxing event that will feature titlists Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Nonito Donaire on Feb. 4 from the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Not long after on March 16, Glendale boxer Gapo "The Ghost" Tolmajyan, according to his management team at Lights Out Promotions, will take on the undefeated Abraham Lopez in the co-main event of an ESPN2 "Friday Night Fights" card.

The light middleweight Martirosyan (31-0, 19 knockouts), who, like Tolmajyan, trains at the Glendale Fighting Club under Edmond Tarverdyan, along with the Wild Card Gym under Freddie Roach, has long been seeking big bouts and title fights, particularly against champion Canelo Alverez, is set to face Lowry (28-11, 17 knockouts) with Chavez taking on Marco Antonio Rubio and Donaire facing Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. in the night's headliners.

Lowry recently stopped a six-bout losing skid with an upset via fifth-round technical knockout over Travis Loveless, who entered the Sept. 16, 2011 bout at 20-0. Lowry has previously fought notables such as Yuri Foreman, Hector Camacho and Andy Lee.

Tolmajyan, a lightweight, is 12-1-1 with three knockouts and is on the heels of a split-decision win over the previously undefeated Daulis Prescott on Dec. 2, 2011. Lopez is an impressive 16-0 with 12 knockouts. The card, according to ESPN's fight schedule, is set to take place at the Morongo Casino in Cabazon.



Former Olympic bronze medalist "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey, who trains out of the Glendale Fighting Club, has landed her biggest mixed-martial-arts fight yet, as she will drop down to 135 pounds to face Miesha "Takedown" Tate for the Strikeforce women's bantamweight championship on March 3 in Ohio.

Before that, Glendale's own Sevak Magakian, a former contestant on "The Ultimate Fighter," is set to take on Alex Garcia on Jan. 28 at a California Fight Syndicate show at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.

Garcia is 12-5, but recently had a six-fight winning streak snapped in July of 2011.

Magakian made his return after a long layoff due to injury on Oct. 29, 2011 in Burbank when he scored a technical knockout win over David Gardner. Magakian is 9-3.

The charismatic Rousey has taken the women's MMA scene by storm with her ultra-impressive fights, her good looks and her sometimes controversial comments.

She's currently 4-0 with all four fights ending inside of one minute via arm bar, just as all three of her amateur bouts did. The former international judo standout is 2-0 in Strikeforce at 145 pounds, but will drop down to fight Tate, who's publicly voiced her disapproval of Rousey getting a title bout.

Nonetheless, Tate will look to defend her title, which she won on July 30, 2011, via submission over Marloes Coenen. Tate (12-2) has won six consecutive bouts.

In another bout with local ties, Jared Papazian, who trains with Glendale's Alberto Crane and in the past has trained at Glendale Fighting Club and the Main Event Gym in Glendale, will make his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut Friday in Nashville on the UFC on FX card.

Papazian (14-6), a 135-pound bantamweight fighter, will take on Mike Easton (11-1).



The New York Giants defeated the top-seeded Green Bay Packers, 37-20, on Sunday afternoon to advance to the NFC Championship game against the host San Francisco 49ers next Sunday.

Ramses Barden, a Giants wide receiver who graduated from Flintridge Prep, did not play in the game, though. The 26-year-old former News-Press Male Athlete of the Year was also absent in the team's 24-2 win over the Atlanta Falcons in the opening round of the playoffs Jan. 8.

Barden, for the third consecutive game, was inactive for the Giants.

Barden, who was still getting over an ankle injury when the 2011 season began, recorded nine catches for 94 yards in eight games played this past season.

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