Ahead of his long-waited and first-ever world championship opportunity, Vanes “Nightmare” Martirosyan said he would pressure opponent Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade.
Pressure might have been the game plan, but it was Andrade who dictated the tempo as the far more active fighter on Saturday night, pumping his right jab and using his range and activity to take a split decision over Glendale’s Martirosyan at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, TX. as part of an “HBO Boxing” triple header.
It was the first defeat in the career of Martirosyan (33-1-1, 21 knockouts), a 2004 United States Olympian, while Andrade, a 2008 Olympian, remained undefeated (20-1, 13 KOs) in picking up his first world title in his first try.
Martirosyan, 27, landed a perfectly-timed counter left hook that sent Andrade, 25, to the canvas in the first round. However, Martirosyan seemed to be looking for the counter throughout and though he often showed he was the more powerful puncher, his biggest showcase was that of his sturdy chin, as Andrade tested it often.
Final punch stat numbers weighed heavily in favor of Andrade, who landed 219 of 769 punches thrown, while Martirosyan countered by going 97 of 443.
The two exchanged in a heated shoving match on Friday at weigh-ins and bad blood was seen at the onset, with Andrade not even facing Martirosyan during fighter instructions and the referee forcing them to touch gloves.
Andrade, a southpaw, came out more aggressive and using his length well and working off a jab and landing some solid left crosses, while Martirosyan was forced to counter.
Martirosyan countered emphatically on an Andrade left with a perfect left of his own that put Andrade down for the first time in his career in the first round. Shortly thereafter, Martirosyan landed another solid right hand to solidify a 10-8 round for Martirosyan that he’d been losing. In all, Martirosyan landed just four punches in the round, but it was enough to do the damage.
Andrade came on strong in the second though, wobbling Martirosyan with an uppercut inside the first minute. Martirosyan landed a few good punches late in the round, but Andrade was far more active.
Martirosyan began landing well on occasion in the third with his right hand, but Andrade was still more active, though Martirosyan definitely picked up his output.
Andrade landed a solid rabbit punch to the back of Martirosyan’s head while clinching in the fourth and Martirosyan’s left eye continued to swell, likely due to an earlier clash of heads. Andrade continued to control the tempo, using his jab very well.
As the fifth went on, Martirosyan began using his jab better, but Andrade was still getting the better of the action, landing well with more power punches in addition to his jab. It was likely Martirosyan’s best round to that point and a very close one to score.
As the sixth went on, the two started trading wildly and a right hook by Andrade seemed to stagger Martirosyan, but he looked to gain his bearings, though he likely ate at least six solid punches to the head. Martirosyan kept taking them and telling Andrade to come on, waving him in and Andrade obliged with a flood of power punches.
The output for both waned in the seventh, but Martirosyan seemed to land more effectively.
Andrade still threw more in the eighth, but Martirosyan landed better with straight rights and kept up his output to likely take the stanza.
Andrade reasserted himself in the ninth, pumping his jab to take the round.
Round 10 saw Martirosyan simply not do enough, while Andrade did just enough to win another round. It was more of the same in the 11th round.
Despite his corner telling him not to take a step back in the final round, Martirosyan was out boxed yet again as Andrade closed it out.