NABF and NABO light middle titlist Vanes Martirosyan defended his belts last night at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas, NV, holding off a serious challenge posed by veteran Kassim Ouma over ten rounds.
The bout marked the first time that 23 year old Martirosyan had faced an opponent with considerable world class experience and it was a learning experience for the Los Angeles area boxer
31 year old southpaw Ouma, a former IBF light middle champion, is well past his prime but managed to give Martirosyan loads of difficulty with well-executed pressure.
Ouma took most of the early rounds before the much taller Martirosyan could gain room to use his reach advantage by the midway point of the contest.
The former world champ struck paydirt in the ninth, flooring Martirosyan with a perfect right hand but Ouma lacked the energy to improve upon his work, having expended himself during the assaultive early rounds.
Martirosyan peppered the oncoming Ouma with sharp combinations to finish the last round in control, sweeping the cards by scores of 97-93 twice and 97-92.
Martirosyan improves to 27-0 (17) while Ouma drops to 26-7-1 (16).