Local looks to stay busy

Vanes "Nightmare" Martirosyan's world title chase is in a holding pattern at the moment, which finds him ready to take on his second relatively unknown down-on-their-luck opponent in a row simply in order to avoid ring rust in the event a big fight materializes.

Martirosyan (31-0, 19 knockouts) will put his World Boxing Council Silver light middleweight title on the line in a 10-round bout against 41-year old Troy Lowry (28-11, 17 KOs), a man 16 years his senior, as part of the undercard of Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.'s WBC middleweight title defense against Marco Antonio Rubio on Saturday at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Martirosyan's fight is not expected to make it onto the live HBO broadcast of the card, which airs at 7 p.m. PDT.

"It's just a fight for me to stay busy," Martirosyan said. "It's just a stay-busy fight for me, but I'm in great shape and I just can't wait. It's going to be a quick knockout, I think."

What Martirosyan is staying busy for is far from clear. He's still ranked No. 2 in his weight class by the WBC and is technically the top contender for Saul "Canelo" Alvarez' WBC light middleweight belt, but hasn't been tabbed for a title shot yet. WBC No. 3-ranked James Kirkland faces Carlos Molina on March 24 in a bout billed by boxrec.com as a WBC light middleweight title semifinal eliminator with the winner to fight Martirosyan in a final eliminator for the right to challenge Alvarez.

Serge Martirosyan, Vanes' uncle and manager, for one, isn't holding his breath on that proposition, however, given the current impasse between rival promotions Top Rank, which backs Vanes and Golden Boy, which represents many of his prospective opponents, as well as the recent past track record of big fights falling through for the former Olympian. He said his nephew is in an awkward position — he wants to fight a big name to advance his career, but big names consider fighting him a high-risk, low-reward liability.

"We've been waiting for Canelo for almost two years now. Whenever it happens, we'll jump on it, but the way that Golden Boy is protecting him, there's no way they're going to give him to Vanes," Serge Martirosyan said. "We're waiting for Kirkland and [Molina]. They're telling us we might get the winner of that.

"It's not like [fights] aren't coming up. Everything that's come up, we've said yes, with the exception of the [Alfredo] Angulo fight. ...But none of them happened."

So for now, Martirosyan will go through his paces against Lowry, coming off another wheel-spinning outing against Richard Gutierrez (10-round unanimous decision) on Oct. 29, 2011

"I don't pick my fights, my promoter does," said Vanes Martirosyan, who trained both with Freddie Roach and Edmond Tarverdyan of the Glendale Fighting Club for this fight. "I just go out there and do my job and be ready. I'm doing my part."

Lowry, out of St. Paul, Minn., was once upon a time a 24-1 rising prospect who has fought such notables as Hector Camacho, Matt Vanda and Yuri Foreman. He enters this fight having won his last, a fifth-round knockout of Travis Loveless on Sept. 16, 2011, but had dropped six straight prior to that and is 4-10 going back to 2001.

"Anybody who comes in the ring with you is dangerous," Vanes Martirosyan said. "It doesn't matter about the age."

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