The Dream and the Nightmare
Martirosyan takes on former champ Ouma
Story and photos by Chris Cozzone
Vanes “Nightmare” Martirosyan says he does all his talking in the ring.
But, Thursday afternoon at the Hard Rock Hotel’s The Joint in Las Vegas, he just couldn’t resist:
“I’m going to turn ‘The Dream’s’ dream into a nightmare,’ he promised.
Kassim “The Dream” Ouma’s once-upon-a-time storybook career, closer to his opponent’s moniker than his own, these days, made a threat of his own as the presser came to a close.
“I’m gonna beat you, kid,” he told Martirosyan.
On Saturday night, in the opening bout of the new “Top Rank Live” series to debut on Fox Sports En Espanol, Martirosyan, 26-0, 17 KOs, fighting out of Glendale, Calif., will headline a card at the Hard Rock against former champ Ouma, 26-1, 16 KOs.
Though the monikers are well matched, many fight analysts are of the opinion that Ouma, as indicated by his recent record, has seen better days and nights.
“I’m not going to be his stepping stone,” proclaimed Ouma, who’s dropped four out of five bouts now, since his last shot at a world title three years ago.
“At the end of the night, I’m going to be stepping on his back.”
While there may be no reason to believe Ouma’s reverie these days, “The Dream” has a new team that is expected to breathe new life into the 31-year-old’s career.
At Ouma’s side, today, was former champ Livingstone Bramble, who did his best to assure the assembled press that preparation for Martirosyan – all 26 days of it – would show a new and improved Ouma.
“There should be a little touch of Bramble in Ouma,” said Bramble. “We will take this kid to school.”
The “kid,” however, a graduating student of the Freddy Roach Wild Card University, is proclaiming 2010 as “This is my year.”
“Vanes is ready to step up,” said advisor Shelly Finkel. “This is his night to shine.
“Livingstone is confused about who will win. Then again, I knew him way back when he had a dog named ‘Snake’ and a snake named ‘Dog.’ He’s obviously still confused.”
Also lined up for Saturday night’s card:
In the co-main event, undefeated Oxnard featherweight Miguel Angel Garcia (19-0, 16 Kos) will taken on once-lost Joksan Hernandez (17-1, 10 KOs), of Ensenada, Mexico. Hernandez’s one loss is by decision, to Bernabe Concepcion, in 2006. After taking off 2007, Hernandez is on a five-bout win streak.
In an eight-round super featherweight bout, undefeated Las Vegan Diego Magdaleno (12-0, 3 Kos) takes on Kansas City journeyman Gerardo Robles (9-8, 5 Kos), who is 6-1 in his last seven.
In a sixer at super lightweight, Anthony Lenk (5-1, 3 KOs), of Las Vegas, looks to get back track after his first loss, by taking on Dusten Guillemin (3-4, 1 KO), of North Platte, Neb. After losing his first four bouts, Guillemin is on a three-bout win streak.
In a six-round cruiserweight bout, unbeaten Ismayl Sillakh (9-0, 8 KOs), of Simi Valley, Calif., takes on Julius Jackson (3-5-1), of Cincinnati, Ohio.
2009 National Golden Gloves jr. welterweight champion Jose Benavidez will make his pro debut in a four-rounder, against Steven Cox (1-0, 1 KO), of Independence, Mo.
Rodrigo Garcia (5-0, 4 KOs), of Santa Ana, Calif., will go four at super welterweight, against an opponent-to-be-determined.
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Tickets starting at $20 are available at all Ticketmaster locations and at the Hard Rock Box Office.
Bouts will air on Fox En Espanola at 8 p.m. local time.