Update (9:52 p.m. EDT): Pawel Wolak contacted us on Twitter to say that he hasn't heard anything about the fight, and that the only talks he knew about right now were with Cornelius Bundrage. I asked Pawel if a fight with Martirosyan is one that he's interested in and this is what he said:
@badlefthook I like the guy and think he's pretty good but sole focus is and has been on feline and the belt he is keeping warm for me
We'll have more if there are any updates to the story.
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Mike Coppinger reports at BoxingScene.com that a fight between Pawel Wolak and Vanes Martirosyan has been agreed to by both camps, and will take place on the Cotto vs Margarito undercard on December 3. Bob Arum says that contracts remain to be signed, but the fight is close to official.
Wolak (29-1-1, 19 KO) is coming off of a Fight of the Year candidate with Delvin Rodriguez on July 15. Many thought that a rematch between those two would be signed for this card, but Top Rank chose to go another route and look in-house for an opponent. Jesus Soto Karass was discussed, and there was also some media back-and-forth between Wolak and Don King fighter and junior middleweight titleholder Cornelius "K9" Bundrage.
But now that the dust has settled, it will be Martirosyan (30-0, 19 KO). Martirosyan rallied to defeat Saul Roman on June 4 in his last bout, and has been trying to get a fight done with Alfredo Angulo since then, which would have reportedly been a WBC eliminator. But Angulo can't fight in the United States, and also just moved to Golden Boy Promotions. Even up until today, there has been talk of an Angulo vs Martirosyan fight, but that now doesn't look to be in the cards.
I will say again that I think it sucks that Delvin Rodriguez isn't getting a rematch with Wolak. The two went to a draw in one of the damnedest fights you'll ever see, both showing a ton of heart, grit, and determination, and their fight deserved every amount of praise it got, and the fighters both deserved more money than they made. But Rodriguez, again, is not promoted by Top Rank, and this is about what I expected as soon as talk moved away from Rodriguez getting a rematch. I figured Top Rank would stay in-house, and they have.
The good news is that Wolak vs Martirosyan is a much better fight, in my mind, than Wolak vs Soto Karass would have been. Wolak is a bona fide action star, and Martirosyan has never backed down from a hard fight, either. They're both limited, but they're also both very hungry, and I'd expect this to be a hell of a good fight.
Now there's still some concern about whether or not Cotto vs Margarito will actually happen, but I think this indicates that Top Rank is not as concerned as some of us may be, including myself. So that's probably a good sign. And hell, even if that fight doesn't happen, I'd like to offer the hope that HBO would move it from pay-per-view, stick to the Garden or head to Jersey, and give us Wolak vs Martirosyan anyway.