Here we go, live from Yankee Stadium, it's the first of two televised fights. Brooklyn's Joe Greene (22-0, 14 KOs) will square off against Vanes Martirosyan (27-0, 17 KOs), who fights out of Glendale, Ca.
Both fighters have impressive records, but Martirosyan has fought better opponents. He scored a unanimous-decision 10-round win over Kassim Ouma in his last bout. Ouma is no longer a contender, but he's better than anyone Greene has fought. Martirosyan also has wins over a tough fighter in Angel Hernandez and Andrey Tsurkan. Greene's best wins were against Jose Miguel Torres and Francicso Antonio Mora.
The good news for Greene is that Martirosyan doesn't have devastating knockout power. If Greene stays with his father's plan to slip and counter, he could win on points.
We'll be back in a few minutes for round 1.
ROUND 1: Martirosyan landed the better shots of the two. He was particularly effective with his left jab. Martirosyan coming out in a southpaw stance probably threw Greene off a bit. Greene was effective when he threw his lead left. He needs to continue to do that to keep Martirosyan away from him. Martirosyan wins the round 10-9.
ROUND 2: Martirosyan has started to attack a bit more, while Greene was a little more defensive. Martirosyan landed the better shots again, but they weren't as effective, because Greene stayed in a defensive stance most of the round. Martirosyan wins again, 10-9, because he threw and landed more punches.
ROUND 3:Greene appears to be settling in now. He landed a hard right at the 1:50 mark and followed that up with a great lead left with about 1:15 left in the round. Martirosyan came back with two lefts, but Greene shook it off and tagged him with another lead left with 50 seconds left. Greene wins the round, 10-9.
ROUND 4: Greene had Martirosyan in the corner at the 1:45 mark and hit him with a couple of solid combinations. He also landed a good left with 1:12 left in the round. Defensively, Greene is doing a solid job blocking many of Martirosyan's blows. The ref called timeout with 35 seconds left to let Greene shake off a low blow from Martirosyan. Greene wins the round 10-9.
ROUND 5: A relatively tame round, but Greene landed more than Martirosyan did. His lead right is beginning to effect Martirosyan. Greene is moving better and is starting to slip punches with great frequence. Greene wins the round 10-9.
ROUND 6: Martirosyan's left eye is swollen and Greene took advantage with two great combos to start the round. Martirosyan is still throwing the lead left, but Greene is seeing it better. Martirosyan landed two good rights in the last minute and actually landed more punches than Greene. But Greene's shots were more effective Greene wins the round 10-9.
ROUND 7: Martirosyan showed some grit this round and used his right to set up his left. It worked as he landed two great combos midway through the round. Greene landed a great overhand left with under a minute to go, but it wasn't enough. Martirosyan wins the round, 10-9.
ROUND 8: Greene landed a right-left Combo with 55 seconds left. It was the first good shot either fighter landed in the round. But Greene is cut over his right eye. Greene won the round, 10-9. But he won it barely.
ROUND 9: Martirosyan was more effective. His left jab was the key. He landed a good one with 1:40 left in the round. Greene complained of a low blow, but the referee wasn't buying. Maritirosyan landed another good combo with a little over a minute left. Martirosyan won the round, 10-9.
ROUND 10: Martirosyan landed a solid left jab with 2:05 left, forcing Greene to grab hold for a couple of seconds. He missed on another combo with 1:38 left, but Greene slipped it. Martirosyan scored a knockdown with a quick left with about 15 seconds left. Martirosyan wins the round, 10-8.
I scored the bout, 95-94, in favor of MARTIROSYAN.
The judges scored the bout, 96-93 (twice) and 98-91. I thought it was a lot closer than 98-91. Greene had issues staying arm's length from Martirosyan's left jab. Greene also failed to attack when Martirosyan's left eye got swolen. A little more power and Martirosyan could be a player in the 154-pound division. As for Greene, he might be too big and little slow to fight as a super welterweight. A jump to 160 could easily be in the cards.