By Keith Idec
The draw between Zhora Hamazaryan and Thomas Mattice on Friday night wasn’t nearly as controversial as the split-decision win Mattice scored in their first fight.
Hamazaryan hurt Mattice badly in the fourth round of their rematch, but he didn’t knock him down. Mattice also had some success during their eight-round rematch in Temecula, California, and was more effective than he was in their first fight July 20.
One judge scored their rematch 77-75 for Armenia’s Hamazaryan (9-1-1, 6 KOs), another had hit 77-75 for Cleveland’s Mattice (13-1-1, 10 KOs) and one judge had it even (76-76). Showtime televised the Hamazaryan-Mattice rematch as the second fight of a “ShoBox: The New Generation” tripleheader from Pechanga Resort & Casino.
According to Showtime’s unofficial punch stats, Hamazaryan landed 150-of-525 overall punches, 57 more than Mattice (93-of-305).
Their draw occurred just two months after Mattice’s suspect split-decision win against Hamazaryan in Sloan, Iowa. Hamazaryan seemed to control the action throughout that eight-rounder July 20 and landed the harder punches.
Two judges, Mike Contreras and Jeff Sinnett, still scored their fight 76-75 for Mattice. The other judge, Bob LaFratte, scored it for Hamazaryan, 77-74.
Hamazaryan seemed to realize their rematch was much closer than their initial meeting and tried to knock out Mattice in the final round.
He landed two right hands to the side of Mattice’s head early in the eighth round. Hamazaryan also attacked Mattice’s body in the eighth.
Hamazaryan’s mouthpiece came out for the second time in the bout at 1:28 of the eighth. Hamazaryan went to the canvas with 45 seconds to go in the fight, but it was the result of Mattice pushing him down.
Mattice didn’t throw many punches in the eighth round and seemed like he was merely trying to make it to the final bell.
A more confident Mattice hammered Hamazaryan with power punches early in the seventh round. A short right uppercut by Mattice knocked out Hamazaryan’s mouthpiece, which caused referee Ray Corona to stop the action at 1:57 of the seventh.
Hamazaryan hit Mattice with a straight right hand at the 1:15 mark of the seventh. Hamazaryan appeared very tired after the seventh round, yet still refused to sit on his stool before the final round began.
Mattice hit Hamazaryan with a right uppercut around the two-minute mark of the sixth round. Hamazaryan quickly fired back with a right uppercut of his own.
Mattice caught Hamazaryan with a left hand that knocked Hamazaryan into the ropes with just under 40 seconds to go in the sixth round.
Mattice also drilled Hamazaryan with a left hook and then a right hand just before the sixth round ended.
Referee Ray Corona warned Hamazaryan late in the fifth round for leading with his head. He hit Mattice square on his jaw with his head just before Corona warned him.
Hamazaryan hurt Mattice with a left hook at 2:21 of the fourth round, just after Mattice drilled Hamazaryan with a left-right combination. Mattice’s legs buckled once Hamazaryan landed that shot and Mattice held and tried his best to move away from him.
Hamazaryan landed another left hand that staggered Mattice with 1:10 to go in the fourth round.
Mattice hit Hamazaryan with a short right hand about 30 seconds into the third round. Hamazaryan went to the canvas with 1:07 to go in the third, but Corona correctly ruled it a slip.
Corona also warned Hamazaryan at the 54-second mark of the third round for hitting Mattice from behind as they were tied up.
Hamazaryan and Mattice got tangled up several times in the second round. Mattice countered Hamazaryan with a left hook late in the third round, as Hamazaryan attempted to get inside with around 40 seconds left in it.
Hamazaryan pressed the action in the first round and consistently connected to Mattice’s body. He landed a left hand that moved Mattice backward toward the end of the first round and added a right hand as Mattice retreated.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.