It was a tough week for Vanes Martirosyan (35-1-1, 21 KOs) and his trainers Joe Goossen and Ricky Funez.
Dan Goossen, brother of Joe and promoter of Goossen Tutor Promotions, passed away on Monday after a month-long battle with liver cancer.
Before his fight against Willie Nelson (23-2-1, 13 KOs), Martirosyan stated that he’d dedicate his win tonight to the late boxing promoter.
Indeed he did, as Martirosyan won an impressive ten-round unanimous decision against Nelson at the Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, Connecticut.
The fight was the co-main event of a card presented by Showtime Boxing and Warriors Boxing promotions.
Martirosyan won with scores of 97-93, 97-93, and 94-94.
Martirosyan had trouble with Nelson’s reach in the first round, but by the second began to close the distance easily, landing right hands that wobbled Nelson several times throughout the fight.
Nelson, instead of using his reach, put himself in harm’s way and at some points had some success on the inside, landing uppercuts and left hooks on Martirosyan.
Nevertheless, Martirosyan’s power, conditioning, and iron chin allowed him to outwork, outland, and outmuscle Nelson into the 10th and final round.
In his post-fight interview when asked by Showtime’s Steve Farhood, Martirosyan believed that the memory of Dan Goossen gave him the extra push in the later rounds, where he was able to push forward and demonstrate that he really wanted the win.
“It’s been a hard week for us. In about round eight, I thought about him,” said Martirosyan, who came to tears as he was asked about Goossen.
This fight was for Dan. We love him and we miss him,” concluded Martirosyan.