Erik Bazinyan aims to impress against Marcelo Coceres on Thursday
Rising super middleweight contender Erik Bazinyan will face former world title challenger Marcelo Coceres at the Montreal Casino on Thursday.
Bazinyan, who is ranked No. 9 by The Ring at 168-pounds, welcomes the step up in class against the talented Argentine fighter who ran Billy Joe Saunders close in their WBO title fight in 2019 and dropped touted prospect Edgar Berlanga before losing a hard-fought decision in his most recent fight.
“It’s a great fight,” Bazinyan (27-0, 21 knockouts) told The Ring. “It’s going to be a good experience for me. He fought with good fighters.
“I know he has experience and he knows what he’s doing. He boxes well, he has good footwork. It gives me more motivation to stay smart, to stay more focused. I’m ready. I’m going to do what I do to win.”
Bazinyan has come a long way from his roots in Yerevan, Armenia, where he learnt how to box. He fought on the national team for a year as a junior. He won a national junior title and represented his country internationally.
He was due to fight at the European championships, but after much deliberation decided to stick with his family’s plan of migrating to Canada at the age of 16.
After settling into his new life, his boxing career continued to excel, winning the Canada Golden Gloves twice and was part of the Quebec team and again fought internationally.
Bazinyan turned professional at 18 and learnt his craft away from the pressures that often follow highly regarded prospects. It’s been a slow but steady road for the father of one, who is now a Canadian national and will have lived in his adopted country for 11 years next month.
The currently unbeaten pro hasn’t lost since he was a 13-year-old amateur, and he feels his professional career is going well.
“I’m in the top 10 with the The Ring and also the WBC and WBA – I’m ranked everywhere,” he said. “I know this fight is going to bring me up the rankings again. I’m looking forward to this big step. For the people, it’s going to be a spectacular fight and I’m sure I’m going to win.”
Marc Ramsay, who also trains amongst others Arslanbek Makmudov, David Lemieux and Christian Mbilli, believes this is the next logical step for his fighter on his road to what they hope is a world title.
“It’s a very important fight, we explained that to him at the beginning of the camp,” he said. “We’re at the stage now that we have to get challenged a little bit. We are planning for him to fight for a world championship and when we’re there we want to be ready, we don’t just want to fight for a world championship, we want to win it and stay there. You need to have a certain evolution before you go in there.
“Too many fighters now just dream about going to a world championship fight and are never heard of again. This is not what we want to do. This is a very good fight for his evolution and we’re going to know after this fight exactly what direction Erik is taking.
“It’s a very good opponent, he’s tough and a very good boxer. He showed how tough he is against Berlanga and he showed against Saunders he has skills and he can win some rounds against someone with the skills of Saunders. He’s a complete fighter, it’s a very good test and I’m happy very happy about the opponent. I’m confident Erik is the whole package, he can box, he can punch, he can do everything in the boxing ring and he’s very good at switching on the spot. He has the maturity to perform at that level and now it’s time for the exam.”
“I will pass the test,” quipped Bazinyan, who was sitting, listening nearby.
Thursday is his proving ground and we shall see just where Bazinyan fits into the super middleweight division.
Coceres (30-3-1, 16 knockouts) turned professional in 2012. He won 28 out of 29, the lone blemish an early draw on the notoriously tough Argentine circuit. As an unknown fighter abroad, Coceres gave Saunders all kinds of problems and was ahead on one of the scorecards when he was stopped in the 11th round. He rebounded to best Sebastian Papeschi only to surprisingly lose a split decision in a direct rematch. However, the 31-year-old showed he is still a handful when fully prepared when he ran Berlanga close last October.
Erik Bazinyan-Marcelo Coceres will headline the event which will be broadcast live on punchinggrace.com beginning at 6 p.m. ET/ 9 p.m. PT.
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