Wow! Before tonight’s main event even took place there was a lot of talk and hype about it being a potential Fight of the Year. Hype it was not, it seems, as what we got fully lived up to, and maybe even surpassed expectations.
Luis Nery (34-1, 26 KOs) and Azat Hovhannisyan (21-4, 17 KOs) threw down for 11 rounds of action before the fight ultimately ended, and it was fast and furious on both sides all the way throughout.
The fight started with Nery using his craft to artfully select straight punches while Hovhannisyan applied more brute force tactics. Hovhannisyan made it clear that he was going to fight this fight with all the grit and determination he could muster, and even if he had to teeter on the edge of the rule book in moments, he never gave up on himself.
Almost all of the rounds were very close, with Hovhannisyan making a strong and concerted effort to work the body of Nery. The problems started, however, when the sharp punching and combinations of Nery left a couple of cuts on the face of Hovhannisyan, clearly displaying the effectiveness of Nery’s offense.
Hovhannisyan would still continue to apply merciless pressure though, and landed many hellacious body punches on Nery who appeared to be starting to succumb to the relentless attacks of Hovhanniyan. Both fighters were throwing and landing clean punches on one another the entire night, and in this battle of attrition it seemed that the momentum start tilting in Hovhannisyan’s favor just after the mid-point of the fight and heading down the stretch despite Hovhannyan’s face looking worse for wear.
Then, in the 10th round, Nery landed a clean one that badly staggered Hovhannisyan before he ultimately hit the canvas. Hovhannisyan would manage to make his way back to his feet, and survive one final barrage of punches from Nery before he was saved by the bell.
The next round, with Hovhanniyan’s face looking even more of a hot mess and having already suffered an absurd amount of punishment, the referee was keeping a close eye on him. Hovhannisyan was still game as hell, still throwing and landing lot of punches of his own, but he took another clean one from Nery that once again staggered him badly.
The referee would immediately jump in to stop the fight at that point, having seen enough. Hovhannisyan wasn’t immediately happy with the stoppage, but at least appeared to be understanding after the adreneline wore down a bit.
Nery’s official stoppage came at the 1:51 minute mark of round 11, in a fight where he too suffered plenty of damage. In the live stream I mentioned that this is the kind of fight that inevitably links two fighters together forever, and I don’t think that was hyperbole of the moment. Much respect to both fighters!
If you haven’t yet got a chance to watch this fight, do yourself a favor. Until then, check out some highlights below.
Nery vs Hovhannisyan highlights
- Shane Mosley Jr UD-10 Mario Lozano (100-90, 99-91, 99-91)
- Ricardo Sandoval KO-2 Jerson Ortiz (2:46)
- Rowdy Legend Montgomery UD-8 Christian Olivas (79-73, 79-73, 80-72)