On Friday night at the Morongo Casino Resort in Southern California, Alejandro Perez (17-3-1, 11 KOs) scored a minor upset over the previously unbeaten Art Hovhannisyan (15-1-2, 8 KOs) in a close, 10-round bout.
The two fighters had previously sparred with each other, and although they consider themselves friends, the two tore in to each other like enemies.
Perez’ previous appearances on ShoBox included two losses to Diego Magdaleno and Rico Ramos, but this time around, Perez fought like a man on a mission.
“It’s a great relief to finally win one on ShoBox, but I definitely felt I had it,’’ said Perez, who was triumphant despite getting docked a point for a low blow in the fifth. “All the hard work paid off for me. Although this was my first fight in a year, I never stopped training and never quit going to the gym.
After 10 hard fought rounds, Perez came away with a unanimous decision with scores of 96-93 twice and 95-94.
“I think I surprised Art with my straight right hands down the middle. I don’t think he expected that. It was something we worked on specifically for this fight. I train hard to please the fans and give them a great show, and I think we gave them a great fight tonight.’’
Disappointed, Hovhannisyan didn’t argue the decision, acknowledging it was a close fight.
“It was a close fight,’’ he said. “I didn’t throw enough punches,” said a dejected Hovhanisyan.
Earlier in the evening, Tureano Johnson (14-0, 10 KOs) handed Willie Fortune (15-1, 7 KOs) the first loss of his career in a lopsided 8-round clash.
Despite landing countless combinations and hard blows on Fortune, Johnson was unable to finish things early, which he found disappointing.
“This was really a frustrating fight for me because I really wanted to win it by knockout,’’ he said. “I am mad at myself for making so many amateur mistakes.”
“Fortune is a tough, tough guy and I hit him with all kinds of solid shots that most fighters would go down from,” added Johnson. “But when he didn’t, I didn’t alter my attack. I didn’t show patience. I didn’t listen to my corner, who wanted me to move more and fight a more technical fight. At the end of the day, this was a good learning experience for me. I know, though, that I can fight much better.’’
Johnson earned the decision with scores of 80-72 on the three judges’ scorecards.