February 2023 Fight of the Month: Luis Nery vs. Azat Hovhannisyan
Simply the best fight we have seen so far, as Luis Nery vs. Azat Hovhannisyan delivered in more ways than one, and might not just be the best fight of the month, but the best fight of the year.
After the fight, I said the following in my news column on Substack.
Tucked away in the Fox Theater in Pomona, California, located near the general Los Angeles, California area, we saw a fight that rivaled any other for the fight of the year thus far. Former two-division WBC world champion Luis Nery became the #1 contender once again for the WBC super bantamweight title as he stopped Azat Hovhannisyan in the eleventh round of a slugfest, with the time of the stoppage being 1:51 seconds. These words undersell the dramatic and vicious nature of the fight.
The CompuBox numbers paint a perfect picture as effective jabbing was thrown out the window with Nery landing 45 jabs out of 219 thrown, and Hovhannisyan landing 30 out of 179 thrown. The jab was simply window dressing for hitting hard, as that is what this bout came down to – simply who could take the best punch. Hovhannisyan outlanded Nery in terms of power shots with 180 landed with 509 thrown, whereas Nery landed 150 power shots out of 377 thrown.http://lukieboxing.substack.com
The fight is up there with violent bouts we glorify such as Arturo Gatti versus Micky Ward, and Brandon Rios vs. Mike Alvarado. It was a talented fighter versus a tough fighter, and the talented fighter fought stubbornly and made the fight much harder than it needed to be.
In the end, Nery got the win, but really it is a fight that will forever stamp Azat Hovhannisyan’s legacy as well, as he has been a local treasure in the L.A. area, but lacked that marquee fight or win to cement his legacy. Even in a loss, Hovhannisyan became a legend on this night.
Subriel Matias vs. Jeremias Ponce – A fun world title fight that had elements of Corrales v. Castillo, but was ended abruptly in the corner after Matias dropped Ponce. Matias is one of the most feared boxers in the sport, and seeing five out of his last seven fights have all ended in corner stoppages speaks to that. Matias also rivals Vasiliy Lomachenko as the only person in recent history to have four fights in a row stopped by his opponent’s career. Matias might be one of these special pressure fighters, he is also now a world champion.
Emanuel Navarrete vs. Liam Wilson – For Navarrete to win his third world title in his third weight class he had to get over the canvas to do so. The bout was a back-and-forth affair that saw outlast and stop Wilson late. The fight was ugly and marred by Wilson coming in four pounds underweight and claiming the scale had been messed with, something no other fighter claimed. In the end, Navarrete stopped Wilson, but it was quite fun while it lasted.
Kat Lindenmuth vs. Lorraine Villalobos – A fight that occurred on DAZN and Golden Boy Boxing’s YouTube channel on a Thursday night, February 23rd to be exact, that saw the lesser-known women’s minimumweight Kat Lindenmuth of New Mexico, upset the local L.A. fighter Lorraine Villalobos, who was coming off a competitive world title fight loss to Yoka Valle. Lindenmuth fought a valiant fight that relied a lot upon the will, as much as skill