Frank “The Ghost” Martin (18-0, 12 KOs) rallied late to pull out a razor-close twelve round unanimous decision victory over 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Artem Harutyunyan (12-1, 7 KOs) on Saturday night in a WBC lightweight title eliminator at the Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Harutyunyan took a knee in the twelfth to escape the pressure that Martin was putting on him. Interestingly, he went down without getting hit.
Harutyunyan just saw Martin coming, and he looked like he’d had enough of getting worked over by him. Harutyunyan got up and made it out of the round without getting hit too many more times by Martin, who was swinging wildly and missing frequently in his desperation to score a knockout.
The scores: 114-113 115-112 115-112 The highly technical Harutyunyan surprised a lot of people by out-boxing & out-punching the 28-year-old Martin in the first five rounds and showing off his superior skills. Martin wasn’t pulling the trigger on his punches the way he needed to in the early rounds to dominate the way he had predicted he would.
Martin started clawing his way back into the fighting beginning in the sixth with his power shots & pressure, which had Harutyunyan wilting.
Harutyunyan fought well in rounds seven & eight, using combination punching and boxing skills to get the better of Martin. Beginning in the ninth is where things fell apart for Harutyunyan, as his left starred, giving him problems from the strong jabs that Martin had him.
Harutyunyan looked tired & worn out from the ninth round on and used a lot of movement to evade Martin. After this performance by Martin, Errol Spence Jr needs to slow down the progression of ‘The Ghost’ because he’s NOT ready for the likes of Devin Haney, Shakur Stevenson, or Gervonta Davis.