Dan Rafael: Luciano Cuello

Martirosyan faces Lozano on FNF

February, 25, 2014
Feb 25
3:36
PM ET
Vanes MartirosyanAP Photo/Eric GayVanes Martirosyan, left, will make his debut with Goossen Promotions on "Friday Night Fights."
In early February, Luciano Cuello of Argentina accepted a fight with junior middleweight contender Vanes Martirosyan. Then Cuello quickly pulled out of the bout, unhappy with the purse, leaving matchmaker Tom Brown looking for a new opponent.

On Tuesday, Martirosyan officially got his new foe for the March 21 main event on ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights.” He will face Mario Alberto Lozano in a scheduled 10-rounder at the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Cabazon, Calif. The fight will be Martirosyan’s first since parting ways with careerlong promoter Top Rank and signing with Dan Goossen.

Lozano (28-4, 22 KOs), 26, of Mexico, has won nine of his last 10 fights, although he is coming off a decision loss to former amateur standout Charles Hatley in November. Lozano knocked Hatley down in the first round but lost the 12-round decision.

"Lozano brings the ability to end a fight with one punch," Goossen said. "With [22 of 28] victories by knockout, you know he will be trying to add Vanes to his KO victims list."

Martirosyan (33-1-1, 21 KOs), 27, of Glendale, Calif., is coming off a disappointing performance in November, when he looked awful in a decision loss to Demetrius Andrade for a vacant world title.

Martirosyan to face tough Cuello

February, 5, 2014
Feb 5
1:55
PM ET
Junior middleweight contender Vanes Martirosyan’s main event on ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights” on March 21 will come against rugged Luciano Cuello of Argentina.

The fight, announced Tuesday, will take place at the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Cabazon, Calif., and will be Martirosyan’s first appearance since parting ways with career-long promoter Top Rank and signing with Dan Goossen last month.

“Vanes said he's ready to go and we're wasting no time," Goossen said. “We're excited to give boxing fans in Southern California and those watching on [ESPN2] an opportunity to see Vanes at Morongo against a very tough and experienced fighter in Cuello. There is a lot to gain for both fighters, which always brings out the absolute best in them.”

Martirosyan (33-1-1, 21 KOs), 27, of Glendale, Calif., is coming off a very disappointing performance in November, when he looked awful in a decision loss to Demetrius Andrade for a vacant world title.

The 29-year-old Cuello (33-3, 17 KOs) figures to be a tough opponent. His only losses have been to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in 2009, a sixth-round knockout loss to Canelo Alvarez in 2010 and a strong performance in a close loss to Willie Nelson in June 2013 on HBO.

Cuello rebounded from the loss to Nelson with a fourth-round knockout of Juan Jose Dias in Argentina in November.
Andy LeeChris Farina/Top RankAndy Lee is looking for his second straight victory after losing to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
A little of this and a little of that from the boxing world:

• Middleweight contender Andy Lee (29-2, 20 KOs), 28, of Ireland, gets back in action May 15 on promoter Lou DiBella’s Broadway Boxing card at B.B. King Blues Club in New York. Lee will be seeking his second win in a row following his seventh-round knockout loss to then-titleholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in June. Lee will face Darryl Cunningham (28-4, 11 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round bout. It will be Lee’s second fight since the untimely death of longtime trainer and close friend Emanuel Steward. Lee has since moved his base from Steward’s hometown of Detroit back to the United Kingdom to train with Adam Booth.

"I'm very much looking forward to this fight,” Lee said. “Having lived in New York for two years, I know firsthand what a great fight town it is. The New York fight fans are a very knowledgeable crowd, and I intend on putting on a first-class performance for them. I want to thank my promoter Lou DiBella for giving me this chance to showcase my skills as I look to rebuild myself into title contention.”

• When featherweight titlist Miguel Angel “Mikey” Garcia makes his first defense against Juan Manuel Lopez on June 15 in Dallas, the HBO co-feature will feature Terence Crawford in a lightweight fight against Alejandro Sanabria (34-1-1, 25 KOs) of Mexico, according to Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti. Crawford (20-0, 15 KOs), 25, of Omaha, Neb., had his coming-out party March 30 when he filled in as a late substitute to face junior welterweight Breidis Prescott on the HBO-televised co-feature of the Mike Alvarado-Brandon Rios rematch. Crawford dominated, but when he faces Sanabria, he will drop down to his more natural lightweight division, Moretti said.

• Welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s lopsided decision win against interim titlist Robert Guerrero in Saturday’s Showtime PPV main event at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas will be replayed on Saturday night (Showtime, 9 ET/PT). The telecast will open with a replay of Abner Mares' ninth-round knockout of Daniel Ponce De Leon to win a featherweight world title, the third weight class in the past three years that Mares has won a championship in.

• The hunt for an opponent for Cleveland junior middleweight contender Willie Nelson (20-1-1, 12 KOs) is, at last, over. After weeks of back-and-forth between DiBella, Nelson’s promoter, and HBO, they finally settled on Argentina native Luciano Cuello (32-2, 16 KOs), who will face Nelson on June 29 in the opening bout of an HBO tripleheader at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn. Middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin (26-0, 23 KOs) defends against Matthew Macklin (29-4, 20 KOs) in the main event with super middleweights Thomas Oosthuizen (21-0-1, 13 KOs) and Brandon Gonzalez (17-0, 10 KOs) meeting in the co-feature. Cuello’s only two losses came against well-known Mexican stars before they won their world titles -- a unanimous 10-round decision to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in 2009 and a sixth-round knockout against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in 2010.

• Junior welterweight titlist Khabib Allakhverdiev (18-0, 8 KOs) will make his first defense, a mandatory, against former titlist Souleymane M'baye (40-4-1, 22 KOs) on July 13 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Allakhverdiev was supposed to defend his title for the first time against Prescott on March 30 on HBO on the Alvarado-Rios II undercard, but he injured his right elbow and withdrew. The fight will be on the same card as the final of the Monaco Million Dollar Super Four final between Denis Grachev (13-1-1, 8 KOs) and Edwin Rodriguez (23-0, 15 KOs), who will meet at a catchweight of 171 pounds because Grachev is a light heavyweight and Rodriguez is a super middleweight. In the March 30 semifinals in Monte Carlo, Grachev advanced with a decision win against former light heavyweight titlist Zsolt Erdei and Rodriguez outpointed Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna.

• Covina, Calif., lightweight John Molina (25-2, 20 KOs) is on the comeback trail seeking his second win in a row following his 44-second knockout loss to Antonio DeMarco in a September world title fight. Molina, who rebounded for a fourth-round knockout win against Dannie Williams in January, will face Andrey Klimov (15-0, 8 KOs) of Russia in a scheduled 10-rounder on June 7 at the Little Creek Casino and Resort in Kamilche, Wash., in the main event of ESPN2’s "Friday Night Fights,” promoter Dan Goossen announced. In the super middleweight co-feature, Farah Ennis (20-1, 12 KOs) of Philadelphia meets Anthony Hanshaw (23-2-2, 14 KOs) of High Point, N.C.

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