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Junior middleweight survives wrath of Ike

Vanes Martirosyan has a new-found respect for Mother Nature after he decided to remain in Houston last week and ride out Hurricane Ike.

Martirosyan, a promising junior middleweight from Glendale, Calif., who improved to 21-0 after defeating Michael Medina on Friday as part of a Top Rank card in Primm, said in retrospect it probably wasn’t the smartest thing he has done.

“I’ve been training in Houston because that’s where my trainer (Ronnie Shields) is,” Martirosyan said. “I’m living at my uncle’s house, and it was a team decision that we would stay put and ride out the hurricane.

“The game plan was if the house started to shake, we’d go into the closets.”

Ike came barrelling in, packing winds of 110 mph. Martirosyan said he tried to sleep through the storm, but it was impossible.

“The wind was howling, and a lot of things were banging against the house,” he said. “If you saw the movie ‘Transformers,’ it made the same kind of loud, clanging noise when they were on the move.

“We lost two palm trees. One of them came very close to our roof, and the other came right across our front door. You couldn’t walk out the front door.”

Despite the devastation that left most of Houston without power or running water, Martirosyan missed only one day of training. He left town Wednesday for Las Vegas and fought Friday night, scoring a unanimous decision over Medina.

Now, he’s not sure what awaits him in Houston.

“People have had tough times in Houston,” he said. “There are still a lot of people without power.”

CHAVEZ JR. HITS TOWN — Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., the son of the legendary Mexican champion who is making quite a name for himself, will co-headline a Top Rank card at Mandalay Bay on Nov. 1 when he faces Matt Vanda in a rematch of their 154-pound fight in July.

Chavez Jr. (37-0-1, 29 knockouts) gained a 10-round split-decision victory over Vanda (38-7, 21 KOs).

The other main event on the card will pit popular Filipino Nonito Donaire against Moruti Mthalane of South Africa, with Donaire’s IBF flyweight title at stake.

Debuting on the card will be Russian Olympic middleweight Matt Korobov, who signed with Top Rank on Tuesday. The Mandalay Bay card officially will be announced Monday in Los Angeles.

Tickets, priced at $300, $200, $100 and $50, will go on sale Tuesday at the Mandalay Bay box office and all Ticketmaster outlets. The fight also will be shown on pay per view for $39.95.

MARRIED IN THE RING — Crown Boxing is running an interesting promotion in which one lucky couple will get married in the ring at one of its shows and the ceremony will be officiated by an Elvis impersonator.

Beginning Friday, fans who attend the monthly Crown cards at The Orleans can enter the contest. In December, one couple’s name will be drawn from the entries, and that couple will get married in the ring Jan. 30 during Crown’s card that night and will spend their honeymoon night in a suite at The Orleans.

“We were looking to do something fun,” Crown promoter Frank Luca said. “Greg Casey, my marketing guy, knows Brandon Paul, who owns the Graceland Wedding Chapel and is one of the best Elvis impersonators.

“Greg talked to Brandon, and he was all for it, so we decided, ‘Let’s do it.’ “

Luca said there’s no fee to enter. Just show up at the fights, fill out the entry form and drop it in the hopper.

“It’s going to be a fun thing,” he said.

Friday’s card will feature Victor Hugo Correa (8-1, four KOs) against Jason Davis (10-1) in a 10-round lightweight bout. Former world champion Greg Haugen trains Davis.

Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913.

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