- Dan Rafael, Boxing
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NEW YORK -- It wasn't pretty, but Vanes Martirosyan got the job done, outpointing Queens' Joe Greene in a sloppy junior middleweight fight.
The fight Saturday night was the co-feature on the Yuri Foreman-Miguel Cotto undercard at Yankee Stadium and didn't exactly rev up the crowd for the main event.
The fighters started slowly, feeling each other out, and never got rolling.
When Martirosyan, a 2004 U.S. Olympian from Glendale, Calif., was announced as the victor -- winning 98-91 and 96-93 (twice) -- the crowd was booing.
"I thought he would press me more than he did," said Martirosyan, 24. "I thought he would come forward and he didn't. It didn't seem like he wanted to fight. I'm still improving and getting better all the time."
Perhaps the fighters were each a little nervous when the fight began, because it was their HBO debut and they were fighting in front of a big crowd at the famed stadium. It was also the an opportunity to make a statement and advance into the major fights both guys have wanted.
But neither made that statement, although Martirosyan (28-0, 17 KOs) did enough to outbox Greene (22-1, 14 KOs).
There wasn't much action, unless you count the various low blows each man threw and were warned for by referee Steve Smoger.
If there was any doubt that Martirosyan, whose left eye was swollen from the fifth round on, was going to win, he sealed the deal with a 10th-round knockdown in which he caught Greene behind the head with a right hand.
Greene, and amateur standout and 2004 U.S. National Golden Gloves winner, just wasn't busy enough, throwing one punch at a time, mainly a right jab that wasn't particularly effective.
"I didn't have it tonight," said Greene, who suffered a cut over his right eye late in the fight. "I wasn't busy enough and he was getting in the first shot," said Greene, 24.
Freddie Roach, Martirosyan's trainer, was pleased with his performance.
"I thought he thought he won every round," Roach said. "He showed nice movement and good power."
Martinez wins first fight
At 6:43 p.m. ET, New York junior welterweights Christian Martinez and Jonathan Cuba walked to the ring, referee Sparkle Lee was also there, and ring announcer Lupe Contreras introduced them for the first fight of the night and the first at Yankee Stadium in 34 years.
And then Martinez went to work en route to a fourth-round knockout.
"I couldn't wait for tonight," Martinez said. "It was a tremendous feeling walking through the stadium and into the ring. It's great being the first man ever to win a fight at (the new) Yankee stadium. If feels historic."
Martinez (4-0, 4 KOs) battered Cuba with a steady diet of left hands and broke him down until dropping him with a left hook at the end of the third round.
Cuba (2-2, 2 KOs) made it to his corner with blood streaming down the side of his face from a cut over his left eye. He was in bad shape when the fight moved to final round of the scheduled four-rounder and Martinez knocked him down two more times before Lee called it off at 1 minute, 18 seconds.
• Junior middleweight Pawel Wolak (27-1, 17 KOs) took a competitive unanimous decision against James Moore (17-3, 10 KOs) in a fight that brought out both fighters' fans.
Wolak, a native of Poland living in New Jersey, and Ireland's Moore, who lives in New York, battled at close quarters throughout the rough fight. In the end, Wolak was awarded the decision on scores of 97-93 (twice) and 96-94.
• Featherweight prospect Jorge Diaz (14-0, 9 KOs) pounded his way to an exciting sixth-round TKO of New York-based South Korean Jae Sung Lee (10-3-1, 7 KOs).
Diaz, a 22-year-old from New Brunswick, N.J., had hundreds of fans cheering him on as he dropped Lee with a right hand to the side of the head in the first round and controlled the fight.
But Lee was game and never stopped coming at Diaz, who finally put him away with a flurry that badly rocked Lee and forced referee Lee to intervene at 1 minute, 54 seconds of the final round.
• Lightweight Abner Cotto (7-0, 4 KOs), Miguel Cotto's cousin, followed the opener with a unanimous six-round decision against Edgar Portillo (6-5-1, 4 KOs). Cotto, a former amateur standout in Puerto Rico, outboxed Portillo en route to winning on scores: 59-55 (twice) and 58-56.
• Denver welterweight Terry Baterbaugh (6-3-1, 3 KOs) upset lifelong Yankees fan Tommy Rainone (12-4, 3 KOs) of Plainview, Long Island, taking a six-round decision. Scores: 60-54 and 59-55 (twice).
Dan Rafael covers boxing for ESPN.com.
It wasn't pretty, but Vanes Martirosyan proved his worth against Joe Greene.