In a thrilling fight in the main event of an exciting doubleheader on Friday night unbeaten Art Hovhannisyan (15-0, 8 KOs), of Glendale, Calif., turned back a determined bid by former WBA lightweight champion Miguel Acosta (29-6-2, 23 KOs), of Caracas, Venezuela, to win a hard-fought 10-round split decision.
In the co-feature at Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif., talented, unbeaten super bantamweight Roman Morales (11-0, 6 KOs), of San Ardo, Calif., registered an impressive eight-round unanimous decision over Alexis Santiago (11-3-1 5 KOs), of Las Vegas, Nev.
Hovhannisyan, making his first start in 11 months, was victorious in a hard-hitting, fast-paced scrap by the scores of 95-93 twice and 92-96. Each slugger went down one time, Acosta late in the opening round, Hovhannisyan in the fifth.
Hovhannisyan, 30, was a tad surprised at the scoring. “I knew it was a little close, but I definitely thought I won,’’ he said. “After I dropped him, I kept trying for the spectacular knockout. My corner was telling me between rounds to calm down, but I thought I had him for sure. He was lucky the bell rang when it did.
“I’m very happy to get the win. Acosta can still fight. I think my conditioning played a great role in my performance, but at this level you need to be good in all facets. This fight was definitely a great learning experience for me.’’