Rick Reeno of BoxingScene.com has heard that there's talk of a fight between Vanes Martirosyan and former welterweight titlist Carlos Quintana.
Martirosyan (27-0, 17 KO) survived a huge test from Kassim Ouma in January, in a fight most expected he would dominate given the fact that Ouma hasn't done anything significant besides lose since 2006. Though the official scores didn't reflect it, Martirosyan very nearly lost his undefeated record that night.
Quintana (27-2, 21 KO) has officially made the decision to stay at junior middleweight, fighting just once in 2009, a December win over Jesse Feliciano. Quintana was all set to face Joshua Clottey in December before Top Rank pulled the plug on that. Coincidentally, Martirosyan got the January 16 fight with Ouma because Clottey refused to headline that show against Michel Rosales.
I know a lot of people seem to remember Quintana only for his knockout losses to Paul Williams and Miguel Cotto, but he also beat Paul Williams, took the rise out of Joel Julio's career, and is a tricky, crafty southpaw that knows what he's doing in the ring.
I tend to think the Martirosyan-Ouma fight was close less because of Ouma suddenly being good again than Martirosyan perhaps underestimating Ouma, who never lost the ability to stay in a fight, just the ability to win against good opponents. It kind of seemed like Vanes thought he was fighting another Willie Lee or Andrey Tsurkan. When Ouma offered resistance, Vanes was greatly troubled.
Quintana is better than Ouma. Top Rank is generally pretty careful (or smart, however you want to put it) with their prospects, so they either think Vanes is ready for Quintana, or they think it's sink-or-swim time. To be honest, and with the acknowledgment that he's still only 23, he's been handled with baby gloves so far. The biggest fight of his career was a trash talk battle last year against Sergio Martinez, which went nowhere.
If the fight does wind up getting made, it's a good one with plenty of potential, and the winner would be right in line for a title shot in the iffy 154-pound weight class.