Friday, February 3, 2023

Bazinyan Defeats Fox To Retain North American Championships In Montreal

Undefeated Super-Middleweight contender Erik Bazinyan scored a hard fought ten round majority decision over longtime contender Alantez Fox to retain his North American Boxing Federation (NABF) and North American Boxing Association (NABA) Super-Middleweight titles on Thursday night at Casino Montreal in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Despite the fight being fought in a small 16X16 ring, which is tailor-made for power punchers, Alantez Fox was able to make the fight competitive using his lateral movement to try and stay in the center of the ring and attempt to use his longer reach to keep Bazinyan at distance. This strategy did appear to work for Fox through several of the early rounds as even though Bazinyan was able to find a home periodically for his power punches, notably his right hand, it appeared as though it was Fox who was dictating the combat. 

As the fight progressed however, the pressure as well as the harder punches of Bazinyan began to wilt Fox’s movement. In round seven, Bazinyan connected with a flush overhand right, followed by a left hook to the jaw that appeared to have Fox in trouble, but he was able to survive the round. By the tenth and final round of the regional championship bout, Fox was fighting the effects of what had been a grueling clash of styles. Bazinyan responded by producing arguably his best round of the fight as he frequently had Fox in trouble and looking to hang on, which he did until the final bell. Official scores were: 95-95 (Even) and 98-92 (On two scorecards) resulting in Bazinyan retaining his North American championships via majority decision. Erik Bazinyan advances to 29-0, with 21 Knockouts. Alantez Fox falls to 28-4-1, with 13 Knockouts. 

Also on this card: 

In a shocker Jr. Welterweight Gabriel Valenzuela scored a first round knockout of former NABF Jr. Welterweight champion Yves Ulysse. A left uppercut to the body dropped Ulysse hard in the middle of the ring. Ulysse was very “Game” and tried to get up, but he could not get his legs under him and the bout was stopped. Official time of the stoppage was :52 of round one. Gabriel Valenzuela advances to 26-3-1, with 16 Knockouts. Yves Ulysse falls to 22-3, with 12 Knockouts. 

Unbeaten Middleweight Alexandre Gaumont scored a first round knockout of Carlos Montijo. Gaumont had a bit of trouble for a time getting through the high defensive guard of Montijo. This changed when he connected with a flush right uppercut to the head that split the guard followed by a left hook to the temple that sent Montijo down. Montijo did get to his feet following the knockdown, but was clearly disoriented and ended up going back down to the canvas resulting in the fight being stopped. Official time of the stoppage was 2:26 of round one. Alexandre Gaumont advances to 7-0, with 5 Knockouts. Carlos Montijo falls to 8-5, with 6 Knockouts.

In a clash of undefeated Welterweights, Christopher Guerrero scored a third round knockout of previously unbeaten Edwin Flores. Guerrero timed his shots from the opening bell and did not face much resistance from Flores. In the third round a double left hook to the body sent Flores down. Following Flores getting up, he attempted to throw a hook at Guerrero, but knocked himself off balance and was dropped by a counter left hook to the head for his trouble. Guerrero would close the show by sending the overmatched Flores down for the third and final time with a barrage of punches to secure the knockout victory. Official time of the stoppage was 2:49 of round three. Christopher Guerrero advances to 6-0, with 2 Knockouts. Edwin Flores falls to 3-1-1, with 3 Knockouts.

Unbeaten Jr. Lightweight Avery Martin-Duval scored a third round stoppage of Eduardo Garcia. Martin Duval spent most of the fight controlling the combat at a distance, ducking under Garcia’s punches, and countering effectively. A counter right hand dropped Garcia midway through the third round. Although Garcia was able to get up, the bout was stopped. Official time of the stoppage was 1:51 of round three. Avery Martin-Duval advances to 9-0-1, with 5 Knockouts. Eduardo Garcia falls to 7-2-1, with 2 Knockouts. 

Super-Middleweight Wilkens Mathie began the evening by making his professional debut in scoring a first round knockout of previously unbeaten Zsolt Birkas. From the start of the bout, Mathie used excellent timing and precision punching to score three knockdowns of Birkas to get the knockout victory. Official time of the stoppage was 2:49 of round one. Wilkens Mathie advances to 1-0, with 1 Knockout. Zsolt Birkas falls to 0-1-1, with 0 Knockouts.

Ultimately, this card, which was promoted by Camille Estephan’s  Eye of the Tiger Management served as a showcase for several of the prospects in the Eye of the Tiger stable, but still also produced an upside in Yves Ulysse falling in the first round to Gabriel Valenzuela, which could well lead to Ulysse retiring from competition as he eluded to prior to the fight. As for Erik Bazinyan, he entered his fight against Alantez Fox rated in the top ten in all five world sanctioning organizations. His victory over Fox will likely move him up the ladder of contention for a world championship. Whether or not after twenty-nine straight wins, Bazinyan is ready to face the top contenders and world champion in the Super-Middleweight division in Undisputed world champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez remains to be seen. The time has at least come for him and his team to test the waters.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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