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30 SEPTEMBER 2014

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Perez Upsets Hovhannisyan In Cabazon


Perez and Hovhannisyan go to battle
Perez and Hovhannisyan go to battle

By Jason Pribila: Alejandro Perez has spent much of the last two years training at the Wild Card gym waiting for the call from an opposing promoter looking for his services to be an opponent. Much of the time at the gym had been spent sparring against friend Art Hovhannisyan. Eventually Perez got a call, and to his surprise it was an offer to face his friend.

 

Perez had twice fought on ShoBox, and each time he fought well, but not well enough to earn a decision. Unfortunately, he may have fought too well and became too risky for opponents looking for softer touches to pad their records. On Friday night at the Morongo Casino Resort in Cabazon, Perez illustrated why he has been avoided.

 

In order to secure a televised bout Perez had to move up to junior lightweight, and face a man he considered a good friend. Hovhannisyan had yet to taste defeat as a professional, and was looking toward a potential title shot by the end of the year. The ShoBox series is notorious for foiling fighters best laid plans.

 

Usually when fighters are matched up against familiar foes, we either get chess matches, or fights that seem to pick up mid-flight. On Friday we got the former. Perez went against form and began the bout by out-boxing Hovhannisyan from the outside.

 

Perez was docked a point for a low blow in round five. The deduction seemed to bring a sense of urgency and he became the aggressor. Hovhannisyan soon found success playing the role of matador. He took a step back and landed counter shots at the charging Perez. Several close rounds went by, and the bout’s outcome would be determined by whether or not judges favored the fighter who was coming forward.

 

When the judges’ cards of 96-93, 95-94, and 96-93 were read, Perez (17-3-1, 11 KO) had the biggest win of his career. Hopefully he could parlay this win into another meaningful bout this spring. Hovhannisyan falls to 15-1-2 (8 KO). His wedding plans in Armenia will likely move forward, but his title hopes in America have been temporarily derailed.

 

 


Johnson defeats Fortune
Johnson defeats Fortune
Fortune and battle up Johnson close
Fortune and battle up Johnson close

The televised opener featured a pair of undefeated fighters stepping up their competition against each other.  Bahamian Olympian Tureano Johnson (14-0, 10 KO) battered Detroit’s Willie Fortune (15-1, 7 KO) over eight fast paced, but eventual one-sided rounds.

 

Fortune started fast and landed a flurry against the harder punching Johnson.   But after the initial role reversal, the fighters settled into a brawl.  The difference was that Johnson’s punches reached their mark quicker, and he was clearly the harder puncher.  By the midpoint of the bout Johnson was landing over 60% of his punches.  It became a question of whether or not Fortune’s granite chin would hold up for the full eight rounds.

 

Fortune made it to the final bell, and the judges’ cards were read unanimously in favor of Johnson.

 

Johnson will be an interesting prospect to watch.  He has power in both hands, and he displayed a television friendly style.  However, he got away with standing squarely in front of a light puncher.  He won’t be able to do so with someone that could trade fire with equal ammunition.

 

Jason Pribila is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He could be reached for questions or comments at pribs2000@yahoo.com and followed on twitter @PribsBoxing.

 

February 22, 2013

Perez celebrates win
Perez celebrates win
Perez aims a right hand at Hovhannisyan
Perez aims a right hand at Hovhannisyan


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