In a somewhat surprisingly entertaining fight that aired live on Showtime, Vanes Martirosyan picked up a big win over Ishe Smith in a pivotal junior middleweight bout between two contenders who came in hoping to earn another world title shot, with Martirosyan perhaps now in line for just that.
Martirosyan and Smith were pretty even over the course of the fight, but Vanes scored two knockdowns, making the major difference in the fight. Martirosyan (36-2-1, 21 KO) dropped Smith late in the third round, when a right hand hit Smith behind the ear, with Ishe's momentum putting him down.
Smith went down harder in round eight, hitting the canvas after a left hook followed by a straight right hand. Smith (27-8, 12 KO) was dropped at the very end of the round on both occasions, and arguably had won the rounds beforehand.
That was reflected on the card of judge Lisa Giampa, who scored the fight even, 95-95, apparently not giving Martirosyan the extra point in either round. While this was debatable for the round three knockdown, the round eight knockdown was hard and legitimate.
Ultimately, Vanes took home the majority decision win, with the other two scorecards at 97-91 each. BLH had it 95-93 for Martirosyan, even in rounds 5-5, but with the two knockdowns swinging the fight his way.