Wild times on ProBox TV tonight, as Otar Eranosyan won his WBA eliminator over Roger Gutierrez in an intermittently thrilling fight that was mismanaged and nearly derailed by terrible referee and commission work down in Florida.
Whenever the fighters were separated and throwing, the action was hot. Eranosyan (14-0, 7 KO) started strong, splitting the guard with a thumping uppercut right from the opening round. Gutierrez (27-5-1, 21 KO) briefly turned the tables in the 2nd with a knockdown on a staggering punch that made Otar touch the canvas with his glove, but that 10-8 round was the only one Gutierrez won on Bad Left Hook’s unofficial scorecard.
Gutierrez did reasonably well at distance, but proved lousy at maintaining it, largely content to ride the ropes and tie up the arms of Eranosyan whenever possible. Eranosyan was relentless with pressure, leaving a visibly uncomfortable Gutierrez looking like he’d given up on the night less than halfway through the fight.
The action was not steady, however, as referee Christopher Young could not control a consistently clutch-happy Gutierrez and an occasionally foul-happy Eranosyan, who landed more than one punch on the break. Referee Young would slap at arms rather than insert himself on the all-too-rare occasions when he separated the fighters, which led to at least one of the unpenalized fouls from Eranosyan. Referee Young also didn’t give a warning or deduct a point for Gutierrez’s flagrant and constant holding until the 8th round.
That 8th round deduction for holding finally stopped Gutierrez from locking arms, and led to a sustained flurry of action that put Gutierrez on the canvas. He got up at the last second, survived the last few moments of the round, and then everything went to hell at ringside.
Commentary said that Gutierrez’s corner appeared to have lost track of time, and were up on the apron with towel in hand to stop the fight until they heard the bell to end the 8th round. That wasn’t visible on video replay, but what was absolutely clear was the ringside official from the Florida Boxing Commission (unnamed on the broadcast, but appeared to be Assistant Executive Director of the Florida Boxing Commission and Tampa area resident Timothy Shipman) waving his hands to stop the fight.
The fight was waved off, then that was reversed, then Young and Shipman(?) had a long, unproductive chat about the situation in Gutierrez’s corner. Young, who deserves a lot of criticism for his loose and lazy management of the action, also deserves praise for repeatedly asking for clarification from the commission on whether the fight could continue, and pointing out that the discussion was giving the shaken and bleeding Gutierrez a lot of extra time for recovery.
After an extended conversation that ran well past the standard one minute break between rounds, the fight still wasn’t stopped. Instead, the ringside doctor was brought in to examine Gutierrez. That process also dragged on, with the doctor repeatedly trying to get Gutierrez to stand and face her for an evaluation, struggling to get an answer from Gutierrez’s corner on whether their fighter could see properly, and finally ending the farce by declaring Gutierrez unable to continue, almost two full minutes after the 9th round should have already begun.
Eranosyan looked tenacious, if occasionally sloppy, and emerged one step closer to a title shot. Gutierrez looked poor, doing little outside of the flash knockdown in the 2nd round other than mucking up the fight with arm grabs. And the Florida officials looked like absolute clowns, letting the fight get away from them for seven and a half rounds, then degenerating to all-out burlesque through their inability to make and stick to a decision on whether or not the fight should end.
Not a great night for Florida, but an intermittently entertaining one in Florida. Here’s the fight video, starting from the 8th round knockdown.
Petros Ananyan KO-7 Cristian Baez
Cristian Baez looked thoroughly in control of the co-feature and well on his way to a decision victory until Petros Ananyan clipped him with a devastating left hook midway through the 7th round. Ananyan (18-3-2, 9 KO) looked uncharacteristically flat for most of this fight, while Baez (19-3, 17 KO) was sloppy with his feet and movement, but effective with his power.
Ananyan looked a beat slow reacting and countering, but stayed persistent and never stopped trying to change things up. He even switched stances in the 4th round, but switched right back again after taking some heavy shots from Baez.
Entering the 7th round, Bad Left Hook had it unofficially 6-1 in favor of Baez, and televised commentary gave every round for Baez. But, Ananyan’s tenacity paid off when he landed a fight-changing left hook midway through the 7th and ultimately final round. Baez was staggered, eventually fell down, and couldn’t beat the 10 count.
Brave stuff from Ananyan, who wins his second straight since a 2022 defeat to Subriel Matias. No isolated highlight available, but here’s an embedded link to the knockout: