Middleweight beltholder Peter Quillin could soon defend his WBO title against promotional stablemate Danny Jacobs.
Schaefer opens Lara-Martirosyan talks
Following the WBC's move to designate Lara-Martirosyan as a final title eliminator, tentative steps toward making the fight have begun.
Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer said he has made inquiries to Top Rank President Todd duBoef regarding a potential WBC junior middleweight eliminator bout between Erislandy Lara and Vanes Martirosyan for the right to face the winner of a May 5 clash between titleholder Saul Alvarez and challenger Shane Mosley.
On April 23, the WBC notified Golden Boy and Top Rank, respective promoters of Lara and Martirosyan, of a 30-day free negotiations period between the fighters, according to the organization's Secretary General Mauricio Sulaiman.
"This will be for the final eliminator. The winner will be the mandatory challenger of the division at 154. The negotiations period will end on Friday, May 18," said Sulaiman.
"The promoters, at all times, can request either an extension of that date, or a shortening of the free negotiations period. If they do not come to an agreement, then there will be a purse bid in Mexico City at the headquarters on that date."
Schaefer said no deal has been reached.
"Nothing much to say," said Schaefer on April 26. "I am talking to Todd to see if the fight can be made. Lara is on board, and we are waiting on Martirosyan."
Lara (16-1-1, 11 knockouts) is coming off a first-round knockout of Ronald Hearns on April 21. Prior to facing Hearns, Lara had not been in the ring since July of last year, when he lost a disputed majority decision to fellow left-hander Paul Williams, which many observers thought Lara had won.
But Top Rank CEO Bob Arum was angered by the WBC's move, calling it "a joke" and saying that Martirosyan (32-0 20 KOs) has "fought in about four eliminators."
Both Martirosyan's seventh-round knockout of Saul Roman in June of last year, and his third-round stoppage of Troy Lowry in February were listed as WBC silver titles, a way of designating the winner as having inroads toward fighting the division beltholder for the organization.
"Just count up how many eliminators Martirosyan has fought in," said Arum. "So we look at it as like, a joke. You can't take any of this seriously."
Photo / Emily Harney-Fightwireimages.com
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com