Stan Martyniouk faces undefeated Keno Castaneda Oct.25 in a do-or-die fight
By John J. Raspanti
Three months ago, Stan "The Man" Martyniouk lost a good friend. They had trained together. Spent time outside the ring. Talked a lot. Stan helped the younger man find an apartment. His friend, like most boxers, including Stan, dreamed big. A title shot was coming.
Then, in a blink of eye, it was over.
Mad Dadashev died from injuries suffered in a boxing match. He was 28. His wife and child were to join him after the bout.
Now they would be escorting his body back to Russia.
A day doesn’t go by that Martyniouk doesn’t think about Dadashev.
“I had the pleasure to train with him,” Martyniouk told this writer via Facebook a few weeks ago. “He was very dedicated to the sport of boxing. We hung out a lot outside of the gym. I took him to a lot of places he’d never been before since he didn’t know anyone. He was a very good guy outside the ring. He had plans to build a better life for his family. That’s what he fought for.”
Dadashev’s sudden death caused Martyniouk to consider his own mortality.
“It (his death) made me realize that life is too short, enjoy every moment but in a smart way because anything can happen to anyone at any given time.”
Martyniouk, who’s won 20 of 22 professional fights, will be engaging in the most important fight of his career this Friday when he faces unbeaten Keno Castaneda at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino in Reno, NV.
Martyniouk realizes that at age 34, it’s time to make a career statement.
“It will be televised on UFC Fight Pass,” said Martyniouk. ”There’s been a lot of buildup. I’m excited to get in the ring and show my skills, and win in front of a huge crowd. A win will get me ranked and will put me in position to fight bigger fights.”
Martyniouk knows very little about his upcoming opponent.
“He’s undefeated in Texas,” said Martyniouk. “He’s a pressure fighter who throws a lot of punches. A tough guy. His record is sixteen and zero, so I know he’s confident, but I’m looking forward to break that confidence and outsmart him come October twenty-fifth."
Martyniouk, a native of Tallinn, Estonia, was a decorated amateur, winning 85 matches - including three international gold medals and a bronze at the National Golden Gloves in 2007.
He turned professional soon after, winning his first 10 fights until he was
upset by Khadpehi Proctor at Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA.
Staying active has been a problem. Martyniouk, who once worked with noted trainers, Virgil Hunter, and Joe Goossen, boxed only four times in four years.
His fight with Castaneda will be his third bout this year. His trainer is Kris Lopez, who also works with local fighters Aaron Coley, Luis Garcia, and world-ranked, Andy Vences.
Martyniouk, has enjoyed working with Lopez, whom he has known for over 10 years.
“I like the advice he gives,” Martyniouk said. “I’ve learned new techniques and boxing fundamentals-how to be smart in the ring and use my boxing IQ. He’s also been bringing out my power.”
Martyniouk has fast hands and feet. The talent is there, and the time is now.
“This is a fight I have to win,” he said.
Yes, and there’s no doubt his good friend Max Dadashev will be helping every way he can.