Two of the most aggressive, forward-pressing super bantamweights in boxing will face off in a 12-round WBC Eliminator on Saturday, February 18.
Former two-division world champion Luis “Pantera” Nery (33-1, 25 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico will face Azat “Crazy A” Hovhannisyan (21-3, 17 KOs) of Los Angeles by way of Yerevan, Armenia in a matchup where the winner will be one step closer to a coveted opportunity to fight for a world championship. The event, presented in association with Zanfer Boxing, is scheduled to take place at Fox Theater Pomona and will be broadcast worldwide on DAZN beginning at 5:00 p.m. PST/ 8:00 p.m. EST.
“I am ready for the next challenge and prove yet again that I am the best, super bantamweight in the world,” said Nery. “Azat Hovhannisyan is an experienced and high-quality opponent, but the reality is that I’m ranked number 1 by the WBC and if I win this fight I will be ready to challenge Stephen Fulton or Murodjon Akhmadaliev so they can no longer avoid me. See you on February 18, Luis Nery is here for the long haul."
Information on the undercard will be shared soon.
Nery represents the tough fighters that have come from the ranks of Tijuana, Mexico. The 28-year-old is a former two-division world champion with a nearly spotless record - his only blemish against Brandon Figueroa in May 2021 that saw him lose his WBA and WBC World Super Bantamweight titles. Since then, he has been on a vengeance to get back to the top, securing the WBC Silver and WBO Inter-Continental Super Bantamweight titles in his fight against Carlos Castro in February 2022 and then a third-round knockout against David Carmona in October 2022.
“I have a lot of respect for Luis,” said Hovhannisyan. “He’s a former world champion and a very talented fighter. I know I’m going to have to do everything I can to win.”
Hovhannisyan hails from Yerevan, Armenia and has steadily climbed the ranks to make a name for himself in his division. The 34-year-old “Crazy A” has earned the respect of the LA fight scene with his impressive, aggressive forward style. His last string of fights since challenging unsuccessfully for the WBC Super Bantamweight Championship title against Rey Vargas have all ended in knockout wins aside from a solid unanimous decision victory against Jose Santos Gonzalez in July 2021. Currently ranked No. 2 by the WBC, No.1 by the WBA, No.3 by the WBO and No. 4 by The Ring, Hovhannisyan is on the doorstep of another world championship opportunity.
“On February 18, you will see two hungry fighters who have been waiting for their chance at another opportunity to be at the top of their division,” said Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions Oscar De La Hoya. "You will see Hovhannisyan live up to his name as “Crazy A” and pull out all the stops against Nery in this title eliminator to get a step closer to becoming a world champion.”
"We are very excited to have Nery back in the United States this February 18,” said CEO of Zanfer Boxing Fernando Beltran. “This fight is a great challenge for Luis, but he is at the top of his game and has not stopped preparing. I am sure that Nery will show why he is one of the best fighters in his division and that he can beat anyone."