The May 12th HBO showdown between WBO super welterweight champ Sadam Ali and challenger Liam Smith is now a doubleheader, as WBC super bantamweight titlist Rey Vargas is set to make his third defense against Azat Hovhannisyan.
The fights take place at Turning Point Resort & Casino in Verona, NY.
Vargas (31-0, 22 KO) won the belt vacated by Hozumi Hasegawa with a majority decision over Gavin McDonnell in February 2017, then defeated Ronny Rios and Oscar Negrete before year’s end. BoxRec has him #4 in the division behind Luis Nery, Jessie Magdaleno, and Marlon Tapales, which seems fair to me.
Hovhannisyan (14-2, 11 KO) had his breakout win last month with a beatdown of the aforementioned Rios on ESPN. He’s plenty entertaining and, if nothing else, should force Vargas to work.
It’s always nice to see someone get suitably rewarded for flipping the script and beating down the promoter’s favored fighter. Best of luck, Azat.