Vanes Martirosyan: "I honestly donít think Saul Alvarez deserves to be a world champion!"

by Geoffrey Ciani (Exclusive Interview by Jenna J & Geoffrey Ciani) - This weekís 129th edition of On the Ropes Boxing Radio (brought to you by CWH Promotions) featured an exclusive interview with the #1 ranked junior middleweight contender in both the WBA and WBO organizations, Vanes Martirosyan (30-0, 19 KOs) who is coming off a seventh round stoppage victory against Saul Ramon (34-9, 29 KOs) a couple of weeks back. Martirosyan talked about his fight and shared opinions on other aspects of the boxing landscape, including Manny Pacquiao, Freddie Roach, Alvarez-Rhodes, Judah-Khan, and more! Here is what he had to say:

Regarding his recent seventh round TKO victory against Saul Ramon:

ďSaul was a tough guy. He came in there with good power and he was well prepared for the fight. He got me good in the first round. He caught me with a good shot. I went away from the game plan and tried to trade with him in the beginning. I was supposed to box him the whole time, but I went in there and tried to trade with him and I got caught. It kind of woke me up to the boxing game actually with that knockdown. Iím happy it happened in a way because it kind of woke me up and Iím happy it happened in the beginning of my career and not later on when Iím in bigger fights and that happens and I donít know what to do.Ē

His thoughts going into the seventh round in his fight against Saul Ramon:

ďWell in round six if you watch it, I told my trainer, ĎI think heís getting tired. Iím going to just stand in front of him and he canít hurt me anymoreí. So in round six I stood in front of him the whole time and let him give me his best shots, and I kept digging into the body too, sometimes. In round seven I knew I had him once I landed a good right hand and I saw him buckle, and I just went for it from then.Ē

On the post fight celebration when he was dropped by one of his trainers:

ďOh! With the celebration in the ring my trainer picked me up and he slammed me on my back because he tried to put me on his head and he dropped me. But after the fight we just went and had some pizza and we were just happy. It hasnít hit me yet for a few days since what I did, but it was a great feeling.Ē

Regarding where he sees himself in the 154 pound weight class:

ďI think itís time for me to go for the big boys and fight the best out there. Whoever they say is the best, Iím willing to fight them. I hope that the fights get made. Right now the guy on my list is Saul Alvarez because I have that title. He has the gold and I have the silver, and I want that gold belt. So right now itís Saul Alvarez. I hope everything goes well on Saturday and we can make the fight happen. Weíre even willing to go to Mexica. Bob Arum said it, also. Weíll go to Mexico and fight him there.Ē

His views on the upcoming fight between Saul Alvarez and Ryan Rhodes:

ďI havenít really seen Rhodes fight. I have heard that heís a tough guy. Heís a tough cookie and weíll just see. Saul looks like heís in great shape and I just wish both of them the best, and let the best man win.Ē

Regarding previous comments Freddie Roach made on the show when he claimed Martirosyan would ďdestroy Saul AlvarezĒ:

ďI think weíll KO him. Freddie says Iíll knock him out in one round! We do really, really hard training at the Wild Card and the Gym Iím at, too, the GFC. We train really hard and the sparring there is sometimes harder than the fights. So Freddie knows what I can do and Iím with Freddie, too. I believe that we can knock Alvarez out in one round, also.Ē

Regarding his unanimous decision victory against ďMeanĒ Joe Greene:

ďI donít think I had a good fight that night. I mean it helped me a lot. Joe Greene, heís a friend of mine. It helps a lot as far as later on in my life, but for the fight game I thought I put on a boring performance. I should have done a lot better and gave the fans a better fight than what I did. Going into the Saul Roman fight I had to do something like that and I knew I had to perform really well, because I couldnít just go out there and put on another dull performance. So I think I did that and now itís time to fight the big guys, but the Joe Greene fight helped me a lot to know what I should do in the ring.Ē

On his working relationship with trainer Freddie Roach:

ďItís like a father and son thing. Heís my best friend when weíre outside of the gym, and heís really serious when weíre in the gym. I look at him as a Dad figure in the gym. My Dad always says, ĎWhen weíre at home Iím your Dad, but when weíre in the gym Freddieís your Dadí, and thatís how it is. We respect Freddie, and you see with Freddie how loyal he is with his fighter and how good of a trainer he is. I donít have to tell you guys how great he is. You guys already know, and you can see from his accomplishments how good he is.Ē

His experiences with other fighters in Roachís stable, including Manny Pacquiao, Amir Khan, Julio Cesar Chavez Junior, Daniel Jacobs, and Peter Quillin:

ďI think itís great, because we all spar together and we all help each other. Like Peter Quillin is one of my favorite sparring partners because the guy can punch and you canít make a mistake in front of him or heíll make you pay. Chavez is good sparring for the pressure that he puts on. I mean itís just great to work with all of the guys. When we go sprinting, me and Amir sprint together. We bring out the best in each other and we even do the swimming drills and the sprints together. So itís good to have those guys in the gym, especially Manny Pacquiao. You watch him train and it makes you want to train twice a day or three times a day, because every time he trains itís like he has nothing, like heís fighting for the world title for the first time. Itís good to see those guys and see what they accomplish, and they push you to reach your goals also.Ē

His views on Manny Pacquiaoís amazing run since he made the jump up into the higher weight classes:

ďI donít know man. I think Pacquiaoís a superhero, bro. I donít know how he does it. I mean the training that you see that he puts in at the gym, you can see how he does it but at the same time, to do what heís done! I just canít wait for my kidsí, kidsí, kidsí to talk about this guy and hopefully one day Iíll be just like that if not better, so people can talk about me. Iím just happy that Iím living in a time where there are people like Manny Pacquiao to help you accomplish your goals and watching somebody like that is amazing.Ē

On how he first became involved in boxing:

ďI was a little kid with a lot of energy and I was always getting into fights with older kids. I was only like 6Ĺ or 7 and my Dad was a fighter in Armenia, so as soon as he found out there was a boxing gym around the house he took me there and I started when I was 7.Ē

Regarding some of the experiences he underwent during his amateur boxing career:

ďMy amateur career was amazing. My Dad always told me I was pretty good, and I didnít know how good I was. He took me to this big tournament like to the Olympic Team and I was fighting in an open division. I was only 17 years old. When I started to beat all these guys like Timothy Bradley, Andre Berto, and I started beating those guys, I started to realize how good I am and thatís when I how I got my name ĎNightmareí also. I mean the Olympic experience was the best experience, going to the opening ceremony, going to the White House, meeting the President, and the First Lady. It was just the most amazing feeling in the world and I wouldnít trade it for anything in the world.Ē

On whether he is surprised it has taken this long to get the type of recognition he now gets give he turned professional in 2005:

ďI think that all has to do with me. I think I progressed a little slower than I should have, but now I feel like I know what I want and I know what I need and Iím just pushing myself to reach the higher levels now.Ē

On which champions in the 154 pound weight class he would most like to face:

ďI mean Miguel Cotto, even Austin Trout. I fought Austin three times in the amateurs. I beat him all three times. I mean I donít know what the case is with him. I know he failed a test or something. I donít know what happened there, but other than that I would love to fight any of the champions out there. I would even love to fight Sergio Martinez. I mean I would love to fight anybody thatís out there, whoever it is.Ē

His views on the rematch between Cornelius Bundrage and Sechew Powell:

ďI think Bundrage is a very awkward fighter. Sechew Powell is a good boxer when he wants to be. I think if heís there mentally he could have a good fight again. I saw that first fight. It was crazy. They both dropped each other in the first round. Bundrage is a weird fighter so I really donít know because I donít know how heís going to perform. Iím pretty sure that now that he has a world title his mindset is probably going to be different. I know itís going to be a great fight. Iím kind of excited about that one, actually. The last one was a first round knockout. We didnít really get to see what Bundrage could do against him. Hopefully in this fight weíll see.Ē

Regarding some of the fighters both past and present he has most admired and enjoyed watching:

ďI like Alexis Arguello and Pernell Whitaker. I love those guys a lot. I mean I watch the older fights when they go to war and stuff like that. When I was younger it was De La Hoya because he went to the Olympics and did all of those things, but right now my favorite fighter that I admire is Manny Pacquiao.Ē

His views on the upcoming fight between Amir Khan and Zab Judah:

ďI mean they have similar styles. Theyíre both fast. I think itís going to be a great fight, but I think Amirís going to pull it off. I mean Amir trains crazy. Amir trains just as hard as Manny Pacquiao does in the gym. Heís my boy and I think that he can do it, and Iím not just saying that because Iím close with him. I think that Amirís younger and that he could pull it off, but I think if Zab Judah has a chance to catch him and hurt Amir, because Amir doesnít have the worldís greatest chin and I think that Zab also has a chance to knock Amir out with his power and his speed. But working with Pernell, I think itís going to give him a lot of credit and itís going to push him a lot. Pernell would stand in front of you and hit you and canít be hit. So weíll see how he does with Pernell.Ē

Regarding what he would ultimately like to accomplish in the sport of boxing:

ďI want to be the undisputed junior middleweight champion, maybe move up to middleweight, and I want to retire undefeated. That would be my greatest goal, to go out on top.Ē

His views on the upcoming returns of James Kirkland, Alfredo Angulo, and Paul Williams:

ďI donít know what happened with Kirkland. I mean Angulo is having those visa problems. And Paul Williams, I always wanted to fight Paul Williams to tell you the truth. I think that it depends on how hard they want it. I mean look at Amir, Amir got knocked out in the first round, and look what heís accomplished. I think itís a mental thing in boxing more so than anything. You guys know that. I wish them the best. I hope that they can come back, because theyíre great fighters and they give the fans what they want to see. So I can see through with what they do and come back stronger and harder.Ē

Regarding what he wants to do if he is unable to secure a fight with Saul Alvarez:

ďIf Saul doesnít want to fight me I donít know whatís going to happen since Iím the mandatory for him, but Iím going to still do my thing. Iím still going to start training, and just do my thing, and just wait and see whatís next.Ē

On whether his desire to fight Saul Alvarez stems from the fact he does not believe Alvarez has defeated high level competition to date:

ďRight now since I have that belt, yes. If I didnít it probably still would be, because I honestly donít think Saul Alvarez deserves to be a world champion! You canít fight a 147 pound man and become champion. The guy never fought at 154, the other guy. I donít know how that happened. I know that the WBC will do the right thing this time and let us fight. I mean itís the way it should be. The mandatory fights the champion, not whoever the champion wants to fight.Ē

On whether he believes guys like Saul Alvares and Julio Cesar Chavez Junior earned their championships:

ďI think if I had the backup like they did and the name and all that stuff that I would have a lot of titles with me. I donít know. At first I thought Chavez was just a name, but seeing with him and sparring with him, I think that heís turning into a fighter. I donít think heís become world class yet, but I think he will be. With Saul heís just an exciting fighter. Heís an exciting kid. They gave him the opportunity and he took advantage of it. So I donít blame them for taking advantage of the name and their promoters helping them get there. But if theyíre up there then now itís time for them to fight the best, not just whoever they want to fight with. I donít think thatís right, but I think them going up there. Who wouldnít want that?Ē

On what he would like to say to his fans and the listeners of On the Ropes Boxing Radio:

ďI want to thank you guys for taking the time to have me on the show, and to all my fans out there Iím going to continue doing what I do. I hope you guys are happy with my last performance. Itís only going to be better and Iím only going to improve, and I promise that I will make you guys proud. I will always fight the best, not just people that they want me to fight. I know Iím not the best, but Iím always willing to fight the best!Ē


For those interested in listening to the Vanes Martirosyan interview in its entirety, it begins approximately twenty-seven minutes into the program.



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Article posted on 18.06.2011

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