Friday, September 6, 2019

Hovhannisyan KO’s Manzanilla in 4

In a battle between two former world title challengers WBC number six and WBA number eight rated Jr. Featherweight contender Azat Hovhannisyan scored an impressive fourth round knockout over WBA number fourteen rated contender Franklin Manzanilla on Thursday night at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, CA. There was not much of a feeling out process early on as both fights came out willing to engage from the opening bell and both had their moments landing effective power punches early. The constant back and forth between the two began to shift slightly in Hovhannisyan’s favor in the second round as he connected with several hard hooks to the head of Manzanilla as well as right hands. A brutal barrage of punches from Hovhannisyan with Manzanilla essentially pinned against the ropes that lasted well over a minute finally broke Manzanilla down as an accumulation of blows sent him down for the count in the closing seconds of round four. Official time of the stoppage was: 2:58 of round four. Azat Hovhannisyan advances to 18-3, with 15 Knockouts. Franklin Manzanilla falls to 18-6, with 17 Knockouts.

Also on this card, in the Middleweight division, undefeated prospect Chris Ousley scored a six round unanimous decision over Even Torres. This was at times a gritty battle due to both fighters willingness to exchange on the inside. Ousley did have some success in being able to keep Torres at distance with his jab, but Torres was also effective in spots when he was able to go to the body on the inside. Ousley was warned in the second round when what appeared to be a short uppercut on the inside landed below the belt forcing Torres to take a knee. Neither fighter was really able to stand out from the other, but Ousley was the fighter who initiated the combat throughout and that was enough for him to earn the unanimous decision victory. Official scores were: 60-54, and 59-55 (On two scorecards) in favor of Ousley. Chris Ousley advances to 12-0, with 9 Knockouts. Even Torres falls to 7-9, with 5 Knockouts.

Jr. Lightweight James Wilkins scored a six round unanimous decision over former North American Boxing Federation (NABF) Flyweight and Bantamweight champion Luis May. Wilkins dominated this fight with his ability to give May angles, throwing combinations, and changing his level of attack to the body and head. Wilkins scored a knockdown of May in the third round with a flush straight right hand to the head. Although May appeared to be hurt and overall tactically out gunned in this fight, he remained “Game” and hung in there for the full six round distance. Official scores were: 60-53, and 59-54 (On two scorecards in favor of Wilkins. James Wilkins advances to 8-1, with 6 Knockouts. Luis May falls to 21-16-1, with 8 Knockouts.

Also in the Jr. Lightweight division, undefeated prospect Edwin Valentin scored an eight round unanimous decision over Deivi Bassa. The story of this fight was Valentin’s constant pressure attack of Bassa and harder punches. Although Bassa was quite cagey, and never stopped throwing punches, he was not able to land something that would discourage Valentin from coming forward. Official scores were:79-73 (On all three scorecards) in favor of Valentin. Edwin Valentin advances to 9-0, with 8 Knockouts. Deivi Bassa falls to 21-9, with 13 Knockouts.

In the opening bout of the evening in the Welterweight division Herbert Acevedo scored an eight round unanimous decision over veteran Martin Martinez. Acevedo forced the action throughout the fight and was able to land some attention-grabbing left hooks over the course of the fight. Official scores were: 78-74, 79-73 (On two scorecards) in favor of Acevedo. Herbert Acevedo advances to 16-2-1, with 4 Knockouts. Martin Martinez falls to 19-18-1, with 12 Knockouts..

The win over Manzanilla in was was billed as an elimination bout in the World Boxing Association (WBA) ratings in the 122lb. Jr. Featherweight division puts Hovhannisyan back in position to challenge for a world championship. Whether or not that fight comes against current WBA world champion Daniel Roman or top contender Ronny Rios, who currently holds interim/regular champion status in the WBA’s ratings remains to be seen. Having now scored wins in his last four fights and all of those wins coming by way of knockout, Hovhannisyan appears ready for another opportunity at a world championship. In his previous title shot, Hovhannisyan lost a hard-fought twelve round unanimous decision to current WBC champion Rey Vargas in May of last year.

In a somewhat ironic twist that can happen in Boxing at times, Hovhannisyan has now worked his way back into world title contention by knocking out a man in Franklin Manzanilla, who coincidentally lost to Vargas in his last fight prior to facing Hovhannisyan. An illustration of not only how deep weight classes can be, but also an example of how talented the contenders, who are all vying for an opportunity at a world championship tend to be. The Jr. Featherweight division, like several other weight classes has emerged as one where any of the top contenders can be put into a world championship bout and give whomever the champion might be a difficult fight. It makes for very competitive fights and more often than not creates the type of excitement that Boxing fans crave.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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