'Lionheart' roars to sixth-round KO

Boxing: Glendale lightweight Art Hovhannesyan improves to 14-0-1 with victory over Archie Ray Vasquez on Showtime.

June 11, 2011|By Grant Gordon,

SANTA YNEZ — With brilliant boxing and devastating power, Art "Lionheart" Hovhannesyan announced his presence to the fighting world live on Showtime Friday night.

Behind a ferocious straight right-left hook combination, Hovhannesyan knocked out the previously undefeated Archie Ray Vasquez at the 1:03 mark of the sixth round in their scheduled eight-round lightweight tilt, which led off Showtime's "ShoBox" televised card from the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez.

"I told everyone, in a couple of rounds, I can teach him how to box and then stop him," said Hovhannesyan, who knocked down Vasquez four times in the bout. "And I did that."


Hovhannesyan (14-0-1, 8 KOs) nailed Vasquez (12-1, 8 KOs) with a straight right and two follow-up left hooks to put down the New Mexico fighter just before the first round ended. Vasquez did not appear to be hurt, but his difficulty staying upright was a foreshadowing of Hovhannesyan's fortune to come.

"Art has a big punch and he's learning to sit down on it," said Hovhannesyan's chief trainer, Edmond Tarverdyan.

It was Hovhannesyan's sixth knockout in his last seven fights.

Hovhannesyan, who resides and trains in Glendale, floored Vasquez for a second time in the third round, once again using the power in his left hook to hurt his opponent before a grazing right put him to the canvas. Vasquez argued that it was a slip, but the referee ruled it a knockdown and Vasquez had clearly been staggered by the hook.

In the fifth round, Hovhannesyan landed his most impressive blow of the fight up to that point — which was saying something, considering he landed solid power punches multiple times in each round. The Jewel City fighter caught Vasquez coming in with a picture-perfect right that sent Vasquez to the canvas for a third time, though he popped up relatively quickly. Hovhannesyan went on the offensive right away, but Vasquez was game and kept himself in the fight until the sixth.

There was no doubt that Vasquez was done in the sixth round, however. Hovhannesyan landed a huge straight right that appeared to have his opponent going down anyway, but an immediate left hook sent Vasquez straight back, with his head bouncing off the canvas and the referee immediately calling a halt to the bout.

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