Martirosyan-Lara, Garcia-Barros weigh-in
Unbeaten Vanes Martirosyan weighed 153 pounds compared 153.5 for former amateur world champion Erislandy Lara on Friday in advance of Saturday night’s HBO-televised, WBC junior middleweight eliminator bout at theLafite Ballroom of Wynn Resort Casino in Las Vegas.
For the co-main event, featherweight contender Miguel Angel “Mikey” Garcia (29-0, 25 KOs) and Argentina’s Jonathan Victor Barros (34-3-1, 18 KOs) each weighed 128.5.
A 26-year-old resident of Glendale, Calif., Martirosyan (32-0, 20 knockouts) is a native of Armenia and former member of the 2004 U.S. Olympic team whose past includes amateur victories over Timothy Bradley, Jr., Austin Trout and Andre Berto.
Trained by Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, Martirosyan owns a unanimous decision over former IBF titleholder Kassim Ouma as well as one over previously undefeated southpaw Joe Greene.
Martirosyan also has a seventh-round TKO of over Saul Roman as well as a stoppage victory over Troy Lowry, the latter being Martirosyan’s sixth knockout win in his past nine fights.
A native of Cuba who fights out of Houston under trainer Ronnie Shields, Lara (17-1-1, 11 KOs) hails from a Cuban amateur national team that included Yuriorkis Gamboa, Guillermo Rigondeaux and Odlanier Solis.
A gold medalist in the 2005 world championships, the 2006 Central American Games and the 2007 Pan American Games Qualifier, Lara’s lone setback was by disputed majority decision to Paul Williams in July of 2011.
Since falling to Williams, however, Lara, 29, has scored a first-round knockout over Ronald Hearns, as well as a decision over Freddy Hernandez.
The Martirosyan-Lara winner is to be in line for a bout opposite WBC titleholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, who is 41-0-1 with 30 knockouts.
A resident of Oxnard, Calif., Garcia, 24, returns to a Las Vegas ring for the first time in four years, having won 13 of his past 14 bouts by knockout.
Garcia has scored seven consecutive knockout victories, including those over previously undefeated Matt Remillard, Rafael Guzman, Juan Carlos Martinez, Bernabe Concepcion and former title-holder Mauricio Pastrana.
Garcia is trained by his father, Eduardo Garcia, and co-managed by his brother Robert Garcia, a former IBF junior lightweight champion.
A native of Argentina, Barros, 28, has gone the distance with Gamboa, and knocked out Irving Berry in the seventh round for the WBA’s featherweight belt.
Barros defended his title twice, the last time with a unanimous decision over Celestino Caballero. Barros lost his rematch and was dethroned by Caballero, and is looking to rebound from a loss to IBF junior lightweight titleholder Juan Salgado in August.
Photos by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]