POMONA, CA (February 18, 2023): Golden Boy Promotions delivered on the promise to gift fans with a Fight of the Year candidate, as the all-out brawl between Luis “Pantera” Nery (34-1, 26 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico and Armenian-born Azat “Crazy A” Hovhannisyan (21-4, 17 KOs) of Los Angeles kept fans on their feet bellowing a chorus of cheers in support of both fighters as the two went to war. The WBC Super Bantamweight Title Eliminator was scheduled for 12-rounds, and the referee stopped the fight at 1:51 in round 11. The event, presented in association with Zanfer Boxing, took place at the Fox Theater Pomona and was broadcast exclusively worldwide on DAZN.
“I knew this was going to be a very difficult fight, Azat is a very tough fighter,” said Luis Nery. “We gave the fans an incredible show. I want the winner between Naoya Inoue and Stephen Fulton. I feel ready for a world championship.”
“We are disappointed in this outcome, but that’s boxing,” said Azat Hovhannisyan. “There was a lot of back-and-forth action, and we did all that we could.”
Special VIP guests of the night included Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Oscar De La Hoya, Golden Boy Partner Bernard Hopkins, Mayor of Pomona Tim Sandoval, former seven-time world champion and Hall of Famer “Sugar” Shane Mosley, Actor Mario Lopez, three-division world champion Vasily Lomachenko, and Golden Boy fighters including “Zurdo” Ramirez, “Scrappy” Ramirez, Alexis Rocha, Jousce Gonzalez, Yokasta Valle and more.
In the co-main event, Shane Mosley, Jr. (19-4, 10 KOs) went the distance in a 10-round super middleweight fight against Chihuahua, Mexico’s Mario “Aguila” Lozano (33-11, 24 KOs). The two went back and forth for a majority of the bout, Mosley finding a rhythm in the later rounds. The judges scored the bout 100-90, 99-91, 99-91.
“This fight showed me that I still have room to sharpen up a bit,» said Shane Mosley, Jr. «I only had three weeks to prepare, so all things considered, I feel like I got the job done. He’s fought with some tough guys so I knew this was going to be a hard fight. I wanted to get a big KO in front of the hometown crowd and make a statement. I was willing to be a lot riskier. My dream is still to become a world champion, and I’m going to do it.”
Ricardo “El Niño” Sandoval (21-2, 16 KOs) of Rialto showed off his impressive skills with a dazzling, second-round knockout of Jerson Ortiz (17-7, 8 KOs) of Managua, Nicaragua. Scheduled as a 10-round flyweight bout, Sandoval took care of business with a power shot to the body at 2:46 in the second round that sent Ortiz to the mat.
“This fight proves that I am a top-level flyweight,» said Ricardo Sandoval. «I am ready to take on bigger names in my division, and I want the bigger fights. I had watched a couple of his videos before, so I knew he was a dirty fighter. I had told the referee about the head butting so he was aware.”
Opening up the DAZN broadcast, Rowdy “Legend” Montgomery (9-4-1, 6 KOs) of Victorville defeated the resilient Christian “Ruso” Olivas (22-9, 19 KOs) of San Ysidro in an eight-round super middleweight match. Montgomery won via unanimous decision.
For the Nery vs. Hovhannisyan preliminary bouts, Asa “Ace” Stevens (4-0, 2 KO) of Waianae, Hawaii added a knockout to his record with a victory over Jenn Gonzalez (9-17-1, 5 KOs) of Santa Teresa, Nicaragua. Gonzalez quit on the stool after the second round.
Opening the night with a stellar debut, Odessa, Ukraine’s Andrii Novytski (1-0, 1 KO) made a statement with a knockout victory over Gabriel Costa (1-4) of Woburn, Missouri. Scheduled for four-rounds, the heavyweight bout only made it to 1:22 of the first round.