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Jose Nunez and Aram Avagyan fight to majority draw in ShoBox 2021 opener

Photo by Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME
Fighters Network

Featherweights Jose Nunez and Aram Avagyan fought to a majority draw Wednesday at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. One judge edged it for Nunez, 77-75, but was overruled by the other two judges who scored the fight 76-76. 

The scoring really came down to what you preferred: the movement and body punching of Nunez, or the accuracy and counterpunching of Avagyan. 

Nunez (11-0-2, 4 knockouts) was the busier fighter throughout. After settling in and finding his rhythm, he found success working the body. The 22-year-old Panamanian native, fighting in America for the first time, utilized lateral movement and angles to keep his opponent off balance. His trainer could not make the trip to the United States, so Freddy Fundora (father of junior middleweight prospect Sebastian Fundora) worked his corner. 

Avagyan (10-0-2, 4 KOs), who had been dropped in his previous two fights, defended well by covering up and slipping shots. The Armenian native, who now lives in Glendale, California, applied steady pressure. After a slow start, Avagyan began putting his punches together in the middle rounds. His experience began to show. Avagyan had over 300 amateur fights (compared to just 33 for Nunez) and represented his native Armenia in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

It felt like Nunez had outworked Avagyan in the first half of the bout. However, by the eighth and final round, the Armenian had narrowed the gap. Fundora implored Nunez to finish strong. There was good two-way action down the stretch and the result of the fight was in doubt as the final bell rang. 

According to ShoStats, Nunez landed 122 of 484 total punches (25%), including 53 body shots. Avagyan connected on 136 of 471 punches (29%), with only 19 to the body. Although neither man is known as a power puncher, they hardly utilized the jab, landing just 28 jabs combined.

The fight opened a ShoBox double header broadcast on Showtime. 2021 marks the twentieth year of the series, known for developing numerous prospects into world champions over the years.

Michael Montero can be found on social media via @MonteroOnBoxing. His podcast “The Neutral Corner” can be seen every Monday on TheRingDigital YouTube channel, and heard on audio podcast platforms around the world.