Erik Bazinyan eager to resume world title quest against Alantez Fox on Thursday
Last June, rising super middleweight contender Erik Bazinyan scored a career-best win over former world title challenger Marcelo Coceres. That victory over the dogged Argentine fighter looked to have set him up for a strong finish to the year. Sadly and unexpectedly, his father passed away, which understandably left Bazinyan rattled and needing some time out.
Now the 27-year-old, who was born in Armenia but moved to Canada when he was 16, is ready to re-emerge against gifted American Alantez Fox at the Montreal Casino in Montreal on Thursday.
“I was supposed to fight in November/December, but something bad happened and I had to travel to Armenia and had some paper issues over there and it took a long time. Now I’m stronger than ever,” Bazinyan (28-0, 21 knockouts) told The Ring.
“There is an army in Armenia and I haven’t been back to Armenia in 11 years because of the army. [Editor’s note: Bazinyan is referring to mandatory enlistment in Armenia.] Finally, I could go after my father passed in Armenia, so I had to go there and to fix my papers. It was supposed to take one month, but it took two months. When I came back, I started my training. But it was a long time.
“I’m more than ready, I’m stronger than ever, mentally and physically. Now nothing or no one can beat me, because I went through such a tragic thing in my life.”
Bazinyan, The Ring’s No. 7-rated super middleweight, welcomes the opportunity to return after eight months on the sidelines.
“Fox is a good opponent but for me,” said Bazinyan. “He’s a tall guy. I checked a few of his fights. He’s not going to bother me. I concentrate on myself. I’m going to do what I do best. I’m good at adapting; I adapt well to any style.
“I am more than ready. I do good sparring with good sparring partners. I am ready to win this fight. I am the WBC No. 4, WBO No. 3 and WBA No. 2, so I’m in top 5 in three of the organizations. I am ready to show what I can do. I am 100 percent sure I’ll win and make a good statement.”
The unbeaten super middleweight feels his win over Coceres helped battle-harden him for bigger fights further down the road.
“Coceres was a great fighter. Maybe a lot people didn’t realize how good he was. He was more than I expected,” admitted Bazinyan. “I didn’t expect him to be that experienced, but I handled the fight well and dominated the whole fight and I learned a lot and gained good experience, which I am happy about.
“It was a tough fight; he was coming back at me and was there to win the fight until the last bell. For sure, that type of fight makes me one level higher.”
Bazinyan hopes victory against Fox can set the ball rolling on a big year.
“My target for this year is to win this fight, fight another fight in May or June and with those two fights I’ll be 30-0 and have more experience,” he said. “Then it will be time to fight for the world title if there is a good offer. I’ll be ready to win the world title.”
Bazinyan’s promoter, Camille Estephan of Eye of the Tiger Management, feels this fight can help his fighter move toward his target.
“He’s extremely talented and has matured greatly recently. We are quite hopeful to have a star in the making,” said Estephan. “This fight is a big step in that direction. He’s ranked highly and this fight will tell us if he’s ready to move forward to the big leagues.”
Fox (28-3-1, 13 knockouts) turned professional in 2010. The Washington, D.C., native stayed unbeaten until he was outboxed by former two-time junior middleweight titlist Demetrius Andrade (UD 12) in 2017. He rebounded with three wins before being stopped by Liam Williams (TKO 5).
The 30-year-old moved up to super middleweight and got back to winning ways before losing last time out to rising Cuban power-puncher David Morrell (TKO 4).
Bazinyan-Fox will headline the Eye of the Tiger event on ESPN+ in the U.S. at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT., and the card will also be broadcast live on punchinggrace.com.
Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected].