5/13/ Turning Stone Resort and Casino, NY.
Rey Vargas (31-0-22K) v. Azat Hovhannisyan (14-2-11K).
Has tall and talented WBC 122lb champion Rey Vargas ever left the ring without looking like he went ten with Eddy Scissorshands? This guy says he doesn’t “like to get hit”, but you can’t prove that by THIS writer. He’s a warrior and fights like one. He usually has a big height advantage over his foes and they have no problems finding him with his erect fighting style. I recall featherweight Danny (Little Red) Lopez was the same way. Over hand rights were his Kryptonite. I saw the weakest guys lower the heads and find Danny with overhand rights and would often drop him. Course, a few rounds later Danny’d be celebrating another ko win. Last night, Armenian AZAT Hovhannisyan, a short stocky free winger burned the champ often out of his crouching advances.
In the first round, while trying to judge the movements of Azat with his jab, a big right hand drove the champ into the ropes. Azat has a weird style, punching from anywhere, ask Ronny Rios. In fact, ask Rios about BOTH of these guys, they both gave him hell. A cut was opened over the left eye of Vargas (big surprise), hunh? Azat used this as a target with his gloves as well as his head. Vargas, who facially resembles an Ostrich, has a big heart and was in no mood for backing up, zeroing in the shorter Azat, with fuel sapping body shots. Occasionally, Azat would time Rey’s reaching shots and land hard, short lefts and rights. This was a hard fought event, as are most of Vargas’s fights. He uses his reach for about three rounds, then it becomes, oh hell, let’s just FIGHT. The body sapping shots of Vargas finally slowed the little fire plug down, slowing Azat’s output. In fact, he took the entire seventh round off. The eighth saw the champ lean into a head butt, opening up his second cut, this one, long and nasty, bleeding profusely. Azat tried desperately tried to capitalize, chasing Vargas around the ring, missing everything. Azat was cut and swollen, as well. This was the type of event that would cause one to seek employment at the post office.
Vargas was able to keep his belt, by keeping his distance and rolling to a points win. I enjoyed all the gestures from both guys, when one guy would miss badly the other would mimic him. Once, when azat was on the retreat, Vargas would act as if he may as well shadow box and started throwing punches. At the bell ending one round, Vargas dropped his hand and Azat threw a playful shot at his chin, like, ‘man you’re lucky the bell rang’.. This was an entertaining fight from both guys but I don’t know how Vargas is gonna’ go the way he gets cut. It seems to happen earlier in each fight. Azat is a fan friendly little guy and will always give a stern effort. I was surprised nobody got dropped with all the clean shots landed.