In a fight that never got fans out of their seat, Demetrius Andrade won the vacant WBO light middleweight championship by an odd split decision. Andrade was dropped in the first round from a left hook by Martirosyan after dominating the entire round.
Andrade wasn't hurt, but the force of the blow took him off his feet. From that point on, Martirosyan's high points were few and far between. Despite Andrade's clear domination, one judge, Javier Alvarez—who as far as we know isn't related to C.J. Ross—scored the fight 115-112 for Martirosyan.
Fortunately, the other two judges, Don Griffin (114-113) and Jesse Reyes (117-110) watched the fight with their eyes open and scored it for Andrade.
The new champion culminated a long journey from his days as an American Olympian. The 25-year-old used his jab and quickness to befuddle Martirosyan most of the night. He seemed to land at will with the right hand and he mixed in the occasional power shot for good measure.
Can Andrade be a champion for a prolonged period at 154 pounds?
Andrade never seemed to hurt Martirosyan, but he clearly showed himself to be the superior fighter. Now that he has won his first championship, it will be interesting to see who he fights next. He could chase one of the other champions at 154 pounds.
Pound-for-pound king Floyd "Money" Mayweather is the WBC and WBA champion. Andrade isn't ready for that challenge, but he could have success against newly-crowned IBF title holder, Carlos Molina.
Molina defeated Ishe Smith on the undercard of the Mayweather-Canelo Alvarez event in September. That seems like a logical move for Andrade if the HBO/Showtime friction doesn't get in the way.
Martirosyan is a tough fighter, but he will have serious issues with any quick 154-pound fighter he faces. He is likely headed for gatekeeper status over the next four years.
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