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Gabriel Tolmajyan falls on 'Friday Night Fights' via decision

Boxing: Glendale 'Ghost' loses unanimous decision to undefeated Jose Pedraza on ESPN2.

August 09, 2013|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
  • File Photo: Gabriel Tolmajyan lost to Jose Pedraza by decision, 97-93, at the Morongo Casino in Cabazon in the co-main event of ESPN2s Friday Night Fights.
File Photo: Gabriel Tolmajyan lost to Jose Pedraza by… (Alex Collins/Staff…)

CABAZON — With the vacant United States Boxing Assn. junior lightweight title on the line, bigger fights in the future at stake and an undefeated opponent across from him, Gabriel “The Ghost” Tolmajyan rarely took a step back Friday night.

But after 10 hard-fought rounds, his budding career took a stumble, as he was on the losing end of a unanimous decision to undefeated Jose “Sniper” Pedraza at the Morongo Casino in Cabazon in the co-main event of ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights.”

All three judges scored the fight 97-93 for Pedraza (14-0, nine knockouts), who used a stiff right jab throughout to lead to the victory.

“Always just a little bit off,” said George Bastmajyan, Tolmajyan’s manager and cut man, as his fighter lost for the third time to an undefeated foe, all via decision. “This time around, he was strong, he wasn’t tired. We lost because we weren’t active enough.”

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Tolmajyan (14-3-1, three KOs), an Armenian native who fights out of Glendale and trains at the Glendale Fighting Club, was fighting an undefeated opponent for the sixth time in his career and the second fight in a row. Trying to follow up his defeat of the previously unblemished Jorge Maysonet Jr. in April, Tolmajyan was unable to find the same magic, although the two put on an exciting, back-and-forth action fight.

“I know Gabe landed the cleaner punches, the harder punches,” Bastmajyan said. “[Pedraza] was pop-shotting him and running away.”

Much of the story of the fight was Pedraza using his range and popping out a stiff right jab that he began employing after losing the first round while fighting right-handed. Pedraza contested the remainder of the fight as a southpaw.

“He threw us off,” said Bastmajyan, who, along with lead trainer, Edmond Tarverdyan, brought in both right- and left-handers to spar with Tolmajyan. “We knew he switches, but you can’t spar a guy who switches. We sparred with guys from both sides, but it’s different when a guy switches.”

One surprise to Tolmajyan’s camp was Pedraza’s approach. Riding a string of three consecutive knockouts into Friday’s bout, Pedraza didn’t come out as aggressive as predicted, Bastmajyan said.

“We thought he was gonna come out and try to get the knockout,” Bastmajyan said. “He boxed.”

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