Vanes Martirosyan finally gets fight with Erislandy Lara

When Vanes "Nightmare" Martirosyan signed on to fight Erislandy Lara in early August, he barely waited for the ink to dry on the contract before jumping headlong into training for the Cuban southpaw.

Lara seemingly was considerably more deliberate in mulling over the proposition of engaging the Glendale resident in a final eliminator bout for the World Boxing Council junior middleweight title, as he didn't get around to signing on until the past weekend.

But sign he did, finally making the biggest fight of Martirosyan's undefeated career a reality.

"I'm actually surprised because I didn't think he would sign because I'm a dangerous fighter," said Martirosyan (32-0, 20 knockouts), the No. 3 contender to Saul "Canelo" Alvarez' WBC belt. "I guess I'm happy now because I know I can beat him."

Originally slated for Nov. 10 on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao's upcoming fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, which has since been changed to Dec.1, the Martirosyan-Lara fight may now be moved to the new Pacquiao date or kept for Nov. 10 if another card can be put together to accommodate it.

"Whenever it is, I'm ready to go," Martirosyan said. "[If it's delayed] better for me, I get to train longer. It's going to be worse for Lara the longer I train."

Martirosyan said that since he signed the contract he has been in intensive strength and conditioning training at Glendale's Main Event Gym with coach Roma Khalantaryan and plans to begin sparring under the supervision of head trainer Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood soon.

"Six weeks before the fight we're going to Wild Card and that's when we're going to start sparring," Martirosyan said. "The reason is because I'm doing a lot of conditioning for this fight, a lot of strength training because I know I have to put a lot of pressure on Lara. That's the game plan."

Martirosyan hasn't been shy about baiting Lara (17-1-1, 11 KOs), the WBC No. 2 contender, on Twitter and in interviews, most recently telling Luis Sandoval of that he would break Lara's ribs and send him to the hospital.

"He's an excellent boxer, but he's also predictable," Martirosyan said. "I know he doesn't like to take body shots because watching him, he fights just like in the amateurs, like the Cuban style. They just try to get points and try to get the victory, but if you slow them down and put pressure on them, you can get to them and I think I can stop Lara."

Copyright © 2019, Glendale News-Press
EDITION: California | U.S. & World