Erik Bazinyan passed perhaps the most noteworthy test of his nine-year pro career Thursday night.
The Armenian-born, Quebec-based super middleweight contender defeated veteran Alantez Fox by majority decision in the 10-round main event of a card ESPN+ streamed from Casino de Montreal in Montreal. Bazinyan won on the scorecards of judges Guy Girard (98-92) and Marie Josee Guerin (98-92), who scored eight rounds apiece for Bazinyan, but judge Jean Gauthier scored their fight a draw, 95-95.
The 27-year-old Bazinyan, who resides in nearby Laval, Quebec, enhanced his record to 29-0 (22 KOs).
The 6-foot-4 Fox fought well in what was a competitive fight through six rounds. A fatigued Fox faded in the final four rounds, however, when he held Bazinyan more than he threw punches at an opponent who entered the ring as a 14-1 favorite.
Fox, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, dropped to 28-4-1 (13 KOs, 1 NC). The 30-year-old Fox fought for the first time in 13 months. Unbeaten Cuban southpaw David Morrell Jr. (8-0, 7 KOs) stopped him in the fourth round of that bout, which was contested for Morrell’s WBA world super middleweight title in December 2021 at The Armory in Minneapolis.
The tall, rangy, experienced Fox made matters difficult for Bazinyan at times, but Bazinyan took control during the seventh round. Bazinyan landed the harder punches over the final four rounds, when Fox’s offensive output paled in comparison to what he had done earlier in their fight.
Bazinyan went for the knockout in the final round, yet Fox held enough to make it to the final bell.
Bazinyan blasted Fox with a right hand about two seconds into the 10th round. He wobbled Fox with several more right hands in the last round, but Fox took those shots well enough to remain on his feet until the final bell.
A right-left combination by Fox landed with just over 40 seconds to go in their bout, but Bazinyan walked through it.
Bazinyan nailed Fox with a left hand out of a clinch just after the midway mark of the ninth round. Fox continued to initiate clinches throughout the ninth round
Fox held Bazinyan on numerous occasions during the eighth round, when Fox appeared tired. A right hand by Bazinyan knocked Fox into a corner and initiated a clinch with 35 seconds to go in the eighth round.
Bazinyan blasted Fox with a right-left combination that made Fox hold him barely 30 seconds into the seventh round. Another right hand by Bazinyan landed cleanly with 1:50 to go in the seventh round.
Fox regularly dug to Bazinyan’s body during the sixth round. Bazinyan and Fox also spent a lot of time wrestling on the inside during the sixth round.
Bazinyan’s short right hand landed with just over 30 seconds remaining in the fifth round. A sweeping right hand by Bazinyan caught Fox as he moved toward the ropes 55 seconds into the fifth round.
Fox stood his ground and landed several right hands during the fourth round.
Bazinyan’s right hand backed up Fox barely a minute into what was a successful third round for the favored fighter. Bazinyan drilled Fox with another straight right about 15 seconds later.
Fox’s right hand landed to the side of Bazinyan’s head with just under 1:10 on the clock in the second round and made Bazinyan reset his feet. Bazinyan’s overhand right connected barely 50 seconds into the second round.
Bazinyan snuck in a right hand that landed with just under 10 seconds to go in the first round. Bazinyan spent much of the opening round trying to get inside on Fox, who mostly moved, pumped his jab and boxed off his back foot.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.
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