“I saw what happened in the Chavez-Vera fight,” said Andrade (19-0, 13 KOs) who, like Vera, is promoted by Artie Pelullo, of Banner Promotions, in addition to Star Boxing
“We’ve all seen what can happen when a name boxer is fighting on a show promoted by his promoter. My job is to go in and stop him. You never want to leave the fight in the hands of the judges. I learned that lesson the hard way in the Olympics.”
A 25-year-old southpaw nicknamed “Boo Boo,” Andrade was last in the ring for a unanimous decision over Freddy Hernandez in January, after a streak of four consecutive stoppage victories. In 2007, Andrade captured a gold medal as an amateur at the AIBA World Championships in Chicago.
Among those considered top prospects for a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, Andrade fell short of his goal following a controversial quarterfinal-round loss to South Korean welterweight Kim Jung-Joo.
“I’ve trained hard to be fully prepared for this fight. I’m in 15-round shape for a 12-round fight,” said Andrade. “But it’s not going the distance. Once I get in the ring, I’m going to do whatever I need to win.”
Martirosyan, 27, is coming off a second-round knockout of Ryan Davis in June that followed a draw with Erislandy Lara in November of last year. Also an Olympian, Martirosyan represented the U.S. as a welterweight on the 2004 Olympic team, alongside teammates Andre Ward and Andre Dirrell, but lost to Cuban Lorenzo Aragon, who would go on to defeat Kim for the silver medal.
Martirosyan is currently rated No. 5 at 154 pounds by THE RING, while Andrade is rated below him at No. 8.
Andrade is, nevertheless, confident of a resounding victory, and, in fact, of scoring the stoppage win.
“I am going to beat him and the knockout will come. I’m coming to win every round decisively until it ends in a KO,” said Andrade. “I am going to beat him down for three minutes of every round. I am going to make a statement that I’m the best 154-pound fighter in the world.”
The winner of Andrade-Martirosyan will take the WBO’s vacant junior middleweight title. As a resident of Rhode Island, Andrade can become the first native New Englander to be a titleholder since Massachusetts-born heavyweight John “The Quietman” Ruiz in 2005, as well as the first fighter from Rhode Island to do so since junior middleweight Vinny Pazienza, of Cranston, R.I., in 1991.
Andrade-Martirosyan will be part of an HBO tripleheader airing live from American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas, headlined by WBO junior lightweight Roman “Rocky” Martinez’s title defense against RING featherweight champion Mikey Garcia, in addition to a rematch between Nonito Donaire and Vic Darchinyan at featherweight.
Photo by Tom Casino, Showtime
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com