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'Lionheart,' Gasparyan prevail at Nokia

Boxing: Two of three Glendale-based fighters prevail on undercard of Saturday's Showtime event in L.A.

April 25, 2011|By Edgar Melik-Stepanyan, Special to the News-Press

LOS ANGELES — During one bout, there was utter exhilaration.

In another, there was absolute frustration.

In the final battle, there was just boredom.

For the three Glendale-based boxers who took part in Saturday's Showtime boxing event at the Nokia Theatre, there was a wide range of emotions.

Art "Lionheart" Hovhannesyan and Vito Gasparyan, both coming off extended layoffs, were victorious with technical knockouts in their respective bouts, while Azat Hovhannesyan was defeated in his professional debut, losing a unanimous decision.


Art Hovhannesyan put on a show in front of an assortment of promoters in a six-round junior welterweight bout.

Despite feeling the effects of a right-hand injury, Hovhannesyan was the aggressor against Jose Alfredo Lugo. With his Glendale Fighting Club trainers George Bastrmajyan and Edmond Tarverdyan urging him to attack, Hovhannesyan opened a cut over Lugo's left eye in the second round and continued his onslaught.

Hovhannesyan (13-0-1, 7 KOs) caught Lugo with a left hook in the fifth round, sending his opponent to a knee. The referee stopped the fight after Lugo struggled to his feet, awarding Hovhannesyan the victory 1:57 into the round. It was Hovhannesyan's second victory against Lugo after defeating him on Sept. 19, 2009 at the Warner Center in Woodland Hills in a unanimous decision.

"Art wasn't 100% so we had to finish him," Tarverdyan said. "You don't want to give the other guy a chance."

Added Bastrmajyan: "We had to show that we're not just boxing. We can put on a show and we can bang."

Hovhannesyan, who fights under the umbrella of both Banner Promotions and Gary Shaw Productions, received better news after the fight.

Shaw told Hovhannesyan that his next fight — on June 10 against Archie Ray Marquez (12-0, eight KOs) at the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez — will be televised on Showtime.

"Art is a big puncher," Shaw said. "He's very strong. He's an action fighter, and because he's an action fighter, it works for me and for television."

Hovhannesyan plans to continue his winning ways.

"I'm going to do my best because it's my first fight on television," he said. "I'm excited about it."

After Hovhannesyan's fight, Bastrmajyan and Tarverdyan prepared for Azat Hovhannesyan's bout. Hovhannesyan, no relation to Art, was a two-time European champion in the amateur ranks, where he reportedly had more than 300 fights. But he was not prepared for the hits that came his way in the four-round junior lightweight event.

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