Vanes Martirosyan and Deandre Latimore could meet in an IBF junior middleweight title eliminator bout, according to BoxingScene.com, in a fight that would pit two guys who have been loudly trying to land big fights this year without much success.
Martirosyan (30-0, 19 KO) won a WBC semifinal eliminator in his last fight, rallying to knock out Saul Roman in the seventh round of their June 4 bout on the off-TV undercard of Zbik vs Chavez in Los Angeles. The Freddie Roach-trained Armenian fighter has had his critics over the year, but he's a fighter who tends to make for good fights, and he's done everything asked of him thus far. The 25-year-old Martirosyan has called out name fighters and titlists for a while now, but has been unable to secure a big fight. Despite being promoted by Top Rank and trained by Roach, having a decent fanbase in California, and putting on good TV fights, he just hasn't been in demand by HBO or Showtime over the years.
Latimore (22-3, 17 KO) became a known contender in 2008 when he upset Sechew Powell on ESPN, but since then has had a rocky go of it. That win earned him a shot at the vacant IBF belt in 2009 when he faced fellow St. Louis native Cory Spinks. Latimore was the obvious crowd favorite going in, but by the end of the fight, Spinks had won back his audience and took the fight. Latimore was also given a rematch with Powell as an IBF eliminator in 2010, and lost that fight as well.
Latimore, also 25, was in the running to face Paul Williams on July 9, but that fight went instead to Erislandy Lara. Both he and Martirosyan are itching for an opportunity, and this might be as good as it's going to get. Cornelius Bundrage currently holds the IBF belt.