ESPN2 results: Azat Hovhannisyan impressively stops Ronny Rios in six
Azat “Crazy A” Hovhannisyan impressively beat Ronny Rios down on Friday night, earning a big victory after forcing a referee stoppage in the sixth round of their junior featherweight contest. The fight was the main event of Golden Boy Promotions card televised on ESPN2, from The Hangar at the OC Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, California.
Hovhannisyan, 14-2 (11), stepped into the backyard of the Santa Ana product, who was looking to return to title contention but even with the crowd cheering him on, Rios succumbed to the fiery pressure from the Armenian.
Rios, 29-3 (13), kept up with Hovhannisyan early in the fight and helped produce a fun, action fight that went back-and-forth, and left heads itching by those scoring it for the first two rounds. For the first two minutes of the third round, it continued but a big Hovhannisyan right hand in its final minute hurt Rios badly. As the bell loomed, referee Jack Reiss eyed Rios closely, as the latter stayed helpless against the ropes behind his shell, barely throwing enough to keep Reiss from stopping it then.
Fighting out of the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, and with Freddie Roach in his corner, Hovhannisyan continued the momentum in the fourth but an accidental head clash left Rios with a swelling hematoma on the right side of his head. Reiss had to keep an eye on that as well but once Rios showed some signs of life in the fifth, it seemed like the 28-year-old found a second wind. To start the sixth, however, a perfect right hand on the chin dropped him for the fight’s only knockdown. Once back to his feet, he said he was ready to continue – but so was Crazy A.
Hovhannisyan, 29, threw effective combinations all night but the varied array in which they came highlighted his performance. With Rios breathing heavily and his head swelling, Hovhannisyan went in for the kill, moments later, peppering his opponent around the ring and landing another big right hand that would’ve dropped Rios, hadn’t Reiss been there to catch him as he stopped the bout.
In the co-feature, Rios’ younger brother Alexis Rocha scored a first round knockout of Miguel Dumas, 10-2 (7), to stay unbeaten. The welterweight bout was scheduled for eight.
“I get more nervous watching my brother’s fights than my own,” said Rocha, 11-0 (8). “I came in composed and relaxed, just ready for anything to happen. I never plan for a knockout. I’m so happy that I get to take the belt (a vacant WBC regional title) home in front of all my Santa Ana fans.”