On Saturday night in Los Angeles, Vanes Martirosyan overcame a stiff challenge from Saul Roman to win the vacant WBC "silver" title at 154 lbs, in what was also a "semifinal eliminator," meaning that somehow, Martirosyan (30-0, 19 KO) is now in line to face Saul "Canelo" Alvarez.
Martirosyan now wants Alvarez next, but might not be as close to that as he seems to think he is, and his trainer Freddie Roach is trying to stir up interest in the fight with bold claims:
"Everybody is talking about how great (Alvarez) is. I think Vanes would knock him out in one round. Vanes won the eliminator to face him. Let's see how good 'Canelo' really is," Roach stated.
Alvarez (36-0-1, 26 KO) has a serious challenge coming on June 18 in the form of Ryan Rhodes (45-4, 31 KO), and certainly should not be looking past that. But the fact is, the fights aren't going to get easier from here on out. At 20, Alvarez is playing with the big boys starting now, and while he'll be able to get away with a few "eh" fights now and again because of his status as a huge draw in Mexico, for the most part he'll have to fight legitimate contenders. Martirosyan is no world-beater, but he's a real fighter who isn't past his prime and would be in the right weight class, which would make him a step up, like Rhodes is, from Jose Miguel Cotto, Carlos Baldomir, and Matthew Hatton, the most notable names on Alvarez's record (except for a young and heavy Miguel Vazquez).