In front of a huge group of their compatriots, an Armenian contingent brought the pain and provided much of the excitement tonight on the undercard of Vic Darchinyan’s sensational TD5 over Yonnhy Perez at the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles. Among them, junior welterweight Art Hovhanessyan (13-0-1, 7 KO’s) stopped a game Jose Alfredo Lugo in the fifth of a scheduled six-round bout and in the undercard fight of the night, junior lightweight Azat Hovhanessyan (no relation) lost his pro debut by unanimous decision, but gained a standing ovation from the large crowd in attendance, as he went to war with California’s Juan Reyes over four scintillating rounds.
Undefeated junior welterweight Art was dominant in his dismantling of Lugo. “I felt great in there,” he said post-fight. “I was coming back from 10 months off, but I had no problems picking up where I left off.
25-year-old Hovhannisyan had over 250 amateur bouts and captured numerous titles as an amateur and it showed. His blazing hand speed and lightning counter punches were too much for Lugo who tried valiantly in vain.
After a knockdown, Referee Zac Young had finally seen enough carnage and mercifully ended Lugo’s night at 1:57.
Hovhanessyan is co-promoted by Gary Shaw Productions.
After his war with Reyes, Azat Hovhanessyan was sadly disappointed. With a tear in his blackened eyes, he spoke about disappointing his Armenian fans.
“I feel terrible for letting them down. He (Reyes) was a strong fighter and because I was making the jump from amateur to pro he surprised me. I will be back.”
Hovhanessyan has nothing to be ashamed of, as his performance and that of Reyes (now 1-0-1) were the kind that, regardless of who won or lost, gained both men a ton of fans. Back and forth they went, trading momentum and nuclear bombs on each other’s chins as the appreciative crowd went into frenzy.
“Can you believe this fight?” shouted incredulous legendary broadcaster Al Bernstein.
The difference may have been the fact that Reyes was able to wobble Hovhanessyan in the third.
Regardless, both fighters will live to fight another day and can always hang their hats on the fight they put on tonight. It was the definition of heart and the will to win.