David Avanesyan is plotting a route back into world title contention and the 35-year-old Armenian is ready to return to some productive hunting grounds.
Avanesyan (29-4-1, 17 KO’s) trains in Newark, Nottinghamshire and has spent a good part of his career fighting in Britain.
He famously defended his European welterweight title against Josh Kelly and Liam Taylor in 2021 but although he has been linked to a whole host of high-profile British names over the years - the latest being former undisputed junior welterweight champion, Josh Taylor - it has proved impossible to tempt them into the ring.
Knowing that a victory over Taylor would catapult him directly back into the world title picture after his sixth round defeat to now undisputed welterweight champion, Terence Crawford, last December, Avanesyan would jump at the opportunity to face the Scotsman but if that fight can’t be made, he has no problem with returning to the European scene he has dominated in recent years and biding his time until the right opportunity presents itself.
It would also give him the opportunity to settle a couple of scores with fighters he feels avoided him during his reign as European champion.
“I’m number one in the EBU [rankings] and those two fools - Jon Miguez and Jordy Weiss - who tried to mess me about are seeming to mess each other about now. After one win - which I will take soon, if needed - I’m next in so I’ll drop down and take care of one of them soon, if I have to,” Avanesyan told BoxingScene.com.
“Ultimately everyone knows me and knows what I bring and that’s excitement and a real fight. On the back of the Terence Crawford fight, people know it’s a good fight for fans so ideally a world title would be the perfect choice. In boxing, when you know your team are working for the good of you and the right fight instead of any fight, patience is the key and I know they are working good for me.”
There is one man who has called Avanesyan’s name; Micheal McKinson (25-1, 4 KO’s). Last August, the man from Portsmouth put in a creditable performance before being stopped in nine rounds by the excellent Vergil Ortiz. Rather than elevating his career to new heights, the display earned him a gold card in the ‘Who Needs Him?’ club. McKinson is all too aware that he needs a meaningful win to reinvigorate his career and has targeted the heavy handed Armenian as the ideal opponent. It is something of a novelty for ‘Ava’ to hear a fighter call him out and he is more than happy to meet McKinson in what would be a real crossroads fight.
“Yes, yes and yes,” Avanesyan said.
“I don’t care. I accept any fight that a fair offer is made for, full stop. What excites me about McKinson is he has shouted me out, he wants it and that has been a rare thing in the UK these last few years.
"Conor Benn and Ekow Essuman have rejected me. Josh Taylor seems to be - respectfully - getting itchy feet. What’s up with them all? Surely they aren’t scared? I’ve just been knocked out, let’s do it. I’m now vulnerable, or supposed to be.
“There is always an excuse why the answer is ‘no’ but there is no reason. I’m promotionally free, we are reasonable to deal with and never price ourselves out. So, for me, I just shake my head.
“I was offered McKinson and agreed terms in one minute but still nothing has come back. I do believe McKinson has accepted it to so hopefully that can be made as that’s a great crossroads fight and before you ask, yes, let’s go the south coast [to fight in Portsmouth]. I hear it’s warmer than Manchester and Newark [where Avanesyan trains].
“Last thing come on boys pick up the phone. Don’t be shy. I love fighting in front of British fans and I know they love my fights so it’s easy to do and let's make a good night.”