Home Boxing News Luis Nery defeats Avat Hovhannisyan in a war, lines up world title...

Luis Nery defeats Avat Hovhannisyan in a war, lines up world title shot

Luis Nery vs Azat Hovhannisyan. Photo credit: Cris Esqueda / Golden Boy Promotions

Luis ‘Pantera’ Nery 34-1 (26) has put himself in line for another world title shot after his gritty and determined 11th round knockout win over Azat ‘Crazy A’ Hovhannisyan 21-4 (17) at the Fox Theater Pomona in Pomona, California on Saturday night.

The fight was billed as a shootout and it didn’t disappoint.

Mexican southpaw Nery, 28, got off to the better start, using his angles and counterpunching to walk Hovhannisyan into his left hand. The former WBC bantamweight and WBC super bantamweight champion had Hovhannisyan cut under the right eye in the third.

The 34-year-old Hovhannisyan, who hails from Armenia but boxes out of Glendale, California, didn’t waver from his game plan from the opening bell, walking down Nery and forcing exchanges. His pressure started paying dividends in the mid-rounds as his body work began to slow Nery down and he was able to land the right hand to the head with increasing frequency.

Furious exchanges between the two boxers became the hallmark of the back half of the fight with both boxers having their moments as they let their hands go. By the ninth it was Hovhannisyan who had the ascendancy despite his fight showing more wear and tear as Nery appeared to fatigue from his relentless pressure.

In an explosive fight-changing moment late in the 10th, Nery nailed Hovhannisyan with a left hand that stunned the former world title challenger. A follow-up left sent Hovhannisyan to the canvas and he barely beat the count to survive the round.

Hovhannisyan’s luck would not hold out much longer. In the penultimate round Hovhannisyan emptied the tank, but it wasn’t enough to keep Nery off him. Nery teed off on Hovhannisyan, letting his punches go in combination until referee Ray Corona stepped in to halt the contest at the 1:51 mark.

“I knew this was going to be a very difficult fight, Azat is a very tough fighter,” said Nery, who was leading the fight 96-93, 96-93 and 95-94 on the judges’ scorecards at the time of the stoppage. “We were well prepared for a war. We expected and knew it was going to be a knockout. We gave the fans an incredible show.”

For Hovhannisyan, it will be back to the drawing board as he looks to rebuild from his fourth loss and first knockout in his twelve year pro career.

“We are disappointed in this outcome, but that’s boxing,” said Hovhannisyan. “There was a lot of back-and-forth action and we did all that we could.”

With the victory Nery become the WBC mandatory contender to WBC and WBO super bantamweight champion Stephen ‘Cool Boy’ Fulton 21-0 (8), who will face Japanese phemon Nayoa ‘Monster’ Inoue 24-0 (21) in his next outing.

“I want the winner between Naoya Inoue and Stephen Fulton,” Nery said. “I feel ready for a world championship.”