Golden Boy matchmaker Eric Gomez will begin the search for a new opponent regarding a potential WBC junior middleweight eliminator bout with Erislandy Lara, saying that Lara’s mandated rival, Vanes Martirosyan, has elected not to take the fight.
On April 23, the WBC notified Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank Inc., the respective promoters of Lara (16-1-1, 11 knockouts) and Martirosyan, of a 30-day free negotiations period between the fighters, according to the organization’s Secretary General, Mauricio Sulaiman.
The winner of Lara-Martirosyan was to earn the right to face WBC beltholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
A purse bid had been scheduled for Friday, but Gomez informed RingTV.com that Top Rank Vice President Carl Moretti told him on Wednesday that Martirosyan (32-0, 20 KOs) is not taking the bout.
“I reached out to him to see if there was a way to bypass the purse bid for Friday and to try to make a final deal or something. But he informed me that Team Martirosyan has officially withdrawn from the final eliminator,” said Gomez.
“This was the final eliminator to fight Canelo, and Vanes turned it down, so we’ll wait for the WBC to rule, possibly pass him up and go to someone else and look for other contenders who are available.”
Lara is coming off a first-round knockout of Ronald Hearns on April 21. Prior to facing Hearns, Lara had not been in the ring since July of last year, when he lost a disputed majority decision to fellow left-hander Paul Williams, which many observers thought Lara had won.
In the meantime, Alvarez (40-0-1, 29 KOs) is coming off this past Saturday’s fourth defense of his belt against ex-titleholder Sugar Shane Mosley, whom he defeated by unanimous decision.
Gomez said that hammer-fisted James Kirkland (31-1, 27 KOs), also promoted by Golden Boy, is a top consideration to face Alvarez on Sept. 15 or sometime that month.
Serious talks already have taken place for a September matchup between Alvarez and Kirkland, and they will continue, said Gomez.
“That’s a possibility. We’re going to sit down with Canelo’s people next week and talk about it. Kirkland is one of the considerations. He’s on the short list,” said Gomez.
“Canelo’s on vacation in Hawaii, but we’re going to sit down with his team sometime next week and go over different ideas and possibilities and go from there.”
Photo / Emily Harney-Fightwireimages.com
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]