Undefeated Freddie Roach-trained fighter Vanes Martirosyan (30-0, 19 KO) has declined an offer to face Mexican knockout artist Alfredo Angulo (20-1, 17 KO).
The WBC had declared Angulo vs Martirosyan its official eliminator for the chance to face WBC light middleweight (154 lbs) world champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (37-0-1, 27 KO) for his title.
The Vice President of Golden Boy Promotions, Eric Gomez, was livid over the fighter's rejection of his offer. Golden Boy promotes Angulo and Alvarez while Top Rank promotes Martirosyan. Gomez had this to say to Boxing Scene about the situation:
He turned it down. He's off the card. It's a fight the WBC ordered. The money was right. We offered him a good amount of money. We offered him neutral officials, everything. It was going to be in Cancun, HBO was going to televise, but he doesn't want to fight.
The fight was scheduled to be held on November 5 in Mexico, Angulo's home country, where he is stranded until his current VISA troubles can be properly dealt with.
Angulo returned last month from a one-year layoff, knocking out 26-year-old Joseph Gomez (17-5-1, 8 KO) in the first round.
Martirosyan has knocked out both his opponents this year so far, taking out Saul Roman (34-9, 29 KO) in seven rounds this past June and Bladimir Hernandez (18-6, 16 KO) in two rounds this past March.
My Two Cents
Even though this may sound like a clear-cut duck from Martirosyan, closer inspection says this might not be.
Considering the fact that Angulo is stuck in Mexico, Martirosyan may not want the unfair advantage of a possible hometown decision.
Sure, Golden Boy is saying they're offering fair judges, but hometown crowds have a way of influencing close fights.
The crowd will road so loud for every near-miss Angulo throws that a judge who is only human will tabulate the punch in his or her mind as a punch that hit, thus potentially changing their entire outlook on the fight.
Martirosyan has a lengthy undefeated record and it's best not to risk it against a dangerous fighter in his hometown. It's already enough that Angulo is a tough fight, but having to overcome hometown advantage too is a lot to ask of a young fighter.
Pawel Wolak (29-1-1, 19 KO) is ranked No. 3 at light middleweight by the WBC. Perhaps he might be a good replacement. He's got an action-packed style to complement Angulo. He also has no opponent slated on his calendar.
Wolak's only possible issue is his promoter Top Rank, but Top Rank and Golden Boy have already collaborated recently on two big fight cards and counting, effectively burying whatever hatchet they had between each other under a pile of money.
Top Rank's Yuriorkis Gamboa (20-0, 16 KO) faces Daniel Ponce de Leon (41-3, 34 KO) on September 10 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Golden Boy's Saul Alvarez (37-0-1, 27 KO) AKA "Canelo" faces Top Rank's Alfonso Gomez (22-4-2, 11 KO) on September 17 in Los Angeles, California.