LOS ANGELES: Explosive super bantamweight contender Azat “Crazy A” Hovhannisyan (17-3, 14 KOs) will headline the Sept. 5 edition of Golden Boy DAZN Thursday Night Fights against fellow former world title challenger Franklin Manzanilla (18-5, 17 KOs) in a 12-round super bantamweight fight at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles. The event will be streamed live on RingTV.com and on Facebook Watch via the Golden Boy Fight Night Page beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT. The series will also be available on regional sports networks around the nation.
Hovhannisyan is a 31-year-old slugger who has developed into one of the most exciting contenders in the 122-pound division. After victories against the likes of Ronny Rios and Sergio “El Frio Finito” Frias, the native of Yerevan, Armenia earned is first world title opportunity against Rey Vargas in May 2018. Hovhannisyan delivered an impressive performance, though he was unsuccessful. He is now coming of three straight knockout victories and will be one step away from a world title shot if he can get past Manzanilla.
“I feel I have a big responsibility by being the main event,” said Azat Hovhannisyan. “I feel I have to put on an even better show now. Manzanilla is strong, but his boxing abilities aren’t strong. On Sept. 5, there will be a knockout.”
Despite a rough start to his professional career, Manzanilla exploded onto the scene at 122 pounds with a stunning upset victory against Julio Cesar “Pollito” Ceja in May of last year. That victory earned the Venezuelan contender a shot at Rey Vargas for the WBC Super Bantamweight World Title in February of this year. The 31-year-old boxer delivered a great performance and even dropped Vargas early in the fight Both me have fought the same person for a title belt, and now they’ll see who among them is worthy of another title shot.
“Without a doubt I left a great impression in my United States debut against world champion Rey Vargas,” said Franklin Manzanilla. “Now they have offered the opportunity to fight Azat Hovhannisyan, who is a strong fighter that is highly recognized in the sport. However, I promise that I will walk away with my hand raised in victory to show that I am a solid contender for a world championship.”
In the co-main event, Francisco “El Alacran” Esparza (9-1-1, 3 KOs) of Las Vegas will fight Rigoberto Hermosillo (11-1-1, 8 KOs) of Guadalajara, Mexico in an eight-round lightweight battle.
Edwin Soto (8-0, 8 KOs) of Salinas, Puerto Rico will return in a four-round bout in the super featherweight division.
Chris “Milly” Ousley (10-0, 8 KOs) of Chicago will take on Even Torres (7-8, 5 KOs) of El Paso, Texas in a six-round super welterweight bout.
James Wilkins (7-1, 6 KOs) of Staten Island, N.Y. will participate in a six-round super featherweight bout.
Opponents for Soto and Wilkins will be announced shortly.