Home Boxing News Frank Martin survives scare to outpoint Artem Harutyunyan

Frank Martin survives scare to outpoint Artem Harutyunyan

Frank Martin (right) and Artem Harutyunyan. Photo credit: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

Lightweight contender Frank ‘The Ghost’ Martin 18-0 (12) had to dig deep to secure a close unanimous decision win over Artem ‘The Original’ Harutyunyan 12-1 (7) at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Chelsea Ballroom in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night.

Southpaw Martin, 28, has been touted as one of the top young fighters rising up the ranks of the talent rich 135-pound weight class. But for stretches of his WBC world title eliminator against Germany’s Harutyunyan, 32, it looked like the American could be sent back to the drawing board.

It wasn’t that Martin didn’t have success, it just seemed that he struggled to get into a rhythm against the 2016 Rio Olympics bronze medalist who more than held his own throughout the bout.

Martin clearly won rounds six, 10 and 11, but it was the 12th round that seemingly secured him the bout when Harutyunyan, who was struggling to see out of a badly swollen left eye, voluntarily took a knee.

According to CompuBox, in those four rounds Martin averaged 60 punches thrown. The other eight rounds were close, with Martin averaging 38 punches thrown per round compared to 42 for Harutyunyan.

In what was essentially a story of two contrasting styles, Harutyunyan had success when he landed enough punches to make Martin fight tentatively, while Martin had success when he fought aggressively.

The knockdown in the final round did not effect the end result of the bout with Martin being awarded the victory by scores of 115-112, 115-112 and 114-113.

“I just knew I wasn’t active enough as I normally am. I just think my reaction time just wasn’t on point tonight,” Martin admitted after the fight.

“He definitely was a tough opponent. I wouldn’t say that it was too difficult, it was just my reaction time wasn’t working like it normally does for me. He was definitely tough. I hit him with some big shots. He stood up, he bounced around in the ring like a ping pong, but he stood tall. I take my hat off to him.”

Harutyunyan was leading 58-56 on all three judges’ scorecards halfway through the bout. Martin’s trainer Derrick James told him he needed a knockout to win and that advice motivated Martin to close out the show strongly.

“No, I wasn’t surprised [he took a knee],” Martin said. “You know after a while, after I’ve landed so many body shots, I can get to wearing guys down. I didn’t land as many body shots as I normally do, so you know, he stood in there.”

At the post-fight presser Martin defended his performance and praised Harutyunyan for his resilience.

“He was actually tougher than what a lotta people gave him his props for,” he said. “People were really sleeping on the guy. He was an Olympian, so he had a little awkward style. He had power, the guys they fightin’ ain’t even got no power, so I ain’t worried about what they talking about.”