Many people had questions about Vanes Martirosyan and where he fit into the world of boxing, having not really faced top-tier competition. He got that tonight in Erislandy Lara, one of the toughest fights possible.
For eight rounds, it was a battle between Martirosyan's aggression and Lara's movement and carefully placed punches. Compubox appeared to prove out that Lara was having much more success in terms of punches landed while HBO broadcast judge Harold Lederman had Vanes up for much of the fight basically because he was "coming forward."
Over rounds seven and eight Lara was clearly showing his class, wearing out Vanes with counter left hands seemingly at will. But the momentum was halted when shortly after the start of the ninth round the two fighters had their heads come together, resulting in a grisly cut over the left eye of Martirosyan.
It didn't take long for the ringside doctor to make the (completely appropriate) decision to wave the fight off. Referee Jay Nady instructed the three ringside judges that they had to score the 26 second ninth round as well.
When the official scores were read they were 86-85 Martirosyan, 87-84 Lara, 86-86 for a draw, making the bout a technical draw.
In terms of punch stats Lara had the punches landed edge 74-43 while Martirosyan only hit on 6 of 76 jabs.
Both men expressed interest in a rematch and I imagine HBO would be interested as well. It was certainly an interesting fight and it was quite chippy as well with lots of fouls from both fighters. At one point Lara had Vanes in a headlock and squeezed down like a guillotine choke in mixed martial arts, so Vanes hit him as the ref broke them up. Vanes would end up throwing a kidney punch later in the fight on the break again while Lara landed what looked like an intentional low blow of his own.
At the time of the stoppage Bad Left Hook had the fight scored 89-83 for Erislandy Lara.