- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Junior middleweight contender Vanes Martirosyan fractured his right thumb in a recent sparring session, forcing him to withdraw from a fight scheduled for April 6 on Top Rank's historic card in Macau, China.
Martirosyan (32-0-1, 20 KOs), 26, of Glendale, Calif., was due to face Javier Francisco Maciel (24-2, 17 KOs) of Argentina in a scheduled 10-round bout at the Venetian Macao Resort Hotel on Top Rank's first show in Asia.
Martirosyan fractured his thumb last week during a sparring session in Los Angeles with Nobuhiro Ishida of Japan. Martirosyan was preparing for his fight with Maciel and Ishida was getting ready for his middleweight world title shot against Gennady Golovkin, which will take place Saturday in Monte Carlo.
"I hit him on the elbow when I was going to the body and I hurt my thumb," Martirosyan told ESPN.com on Monday. "It hurt and then I told [trainer] Freddie [Roach] that I thought something was wrong and I went to see the doctor and they said it was fractured."
Martirosyan, a 2004 U.S. Olympian, said he is continuing to run and stay in shape but won't be able to punch with his right hand for about three or four more weeks.
"The doctor said the longer I can go without punching the better, but he knows I'm a fighter, so I'm looking at three weeks," Martirosyan said.
He said he was disappointed that he is off the Macau card because he was looking forward to making the trip.
"It would have been nice to see how the people support boxing over there, but things happen for a reason and you have to wait it out," he said. "I'm doing good, but it's frustrating. I can't really get upset about it. Life goes on. I have to stay focused and keep training, but I am bummed out about the trip."
Martirosyan is coming off a disputed ninth-round technical draw with fellow contender Erislandy Lara in a November world title elimination fight. A sanctioning body ordered a rematch, but Top Rank and Martirosyan declined, instead electing to face Maciel on the Macau card.
The April 6 card is being headlined by the pro debut of junior flyweight Zou Shiming, a star in China and a two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time overall Olympic medal winner, against Eleazar Valenzuela (2-1-2, 1 KO) of Mexico in a scheduled four-round bout.
There are also two world title bouts on the card: Roman "Rocky" Martinez (26-1-2, 16 KOs) of Puerto Rico defending his junior lightweight belt against Las Vegas' Diego Magdaleno (23-0, 9 KOs) and unified flyweight titleholder Brian Viloria (32-3, 19 KOs), a Filipino-American from Hawaii, in a defense against Juan Francisco Estrada (22-2, 18 KOs) of Mexico.
In another featured fight, former junior featherweight titlist Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. (22-2-1, 19 KOs) of Puerto Rico will face Yasutako Ishimoto (20-6, 4 KOs) of Japan.
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