Art “Lionheart” Hovhannisyan and Alejandro “El Alacran” Perez weighed in Thursday ahead of their Showtime televised bout at the Morongo Casino Resort in Cabazon, California on Friday.
Main eventers Hovhannisyan (15-0-2, 8 KOs), of Glendale, Calif., and Perez (16-3-1, 11 KOs), of Salinas, Calif., each tipped the scale at 130 pounds.
In an eight-round collision of unbeatens in the co-feature that opens the telecast, Tureano “Reno” Johnson (13-0, 10 KOs), who represented the Bahamas in the 2008 Olympic Games, faces Willie Fortune (15-0, 7 KOs), of Detroit, Mich., in a middleweight match. Johnson weighed 159 pounds, Fortune 157.
Below is what the boxers had to say on Thursday:
“We’ve sparred a lot, we know each other well and we’re friends. But business is business and once the bell sounds, the fight is on. I know what Alejandro is capable of so there’s no way I underestimate him. He’s going to give it everything he has. So am I. I expect him to come right at me and try and outhustle me
“I want to fight for a world title this year, and it doesn’t matter which champion I fight. Alejandro has fought some good guys like Diego Magdaleno and Rico Ramos, so this fight should show me where I’m at. This is obviously a very important fight for me.
“I thought going 10 hard rounds in my last fight (against former world champion Miguel Acosta) was good for me. He was a strong, tough guy. I felt in order to win I had to pick it up in the last two or three rounds, which I did. I’m hoping to be very active this year.’’
“There’s no way this won’t be an all-action fight. We both come to fight, and there’s a lot on the line.
“I’ve always been patient between fights looking for the right opportunity, and I never quit training or stayed out of the gym. So even though this is my first fight in a year, I’m in great shape and ready to go. My training camp was excellent. This is a great opportunity for me.
“I feel I’ve grown into a strong 130-pounder. My dieting and conditioning is different so making the weight is no problem and I feel stronger.
“When we sparred we both got in our fair share of good shots. I feel I know what to expect from Art. Art isn’t just a puncher, he can box. But for sure he comes to fight. My job is to try and stay a couple steps ahead of him. I’ve got some new stuff I’m bringing into this fight so I’m well-prepared.’’