Erik Bazinyan looks to leave his personal tragedy behind as he takes on Ronald Ellis
Super middleweight Erik Bazinyan suffered personal tragedy last year with the sudden passing of his father. Unsurprisingly the events hit him hard.
The 28-year-old took some time off and looked after his family while also dealing with his own loss. And then he returned to his chosen profession back in February and scored a hard earned decision over the stylistically challenging Alantez Fox (MD 10) and followed up with a tougher than expected win over tough Mexican Juan Macias (UD 10).
He hopes to do better and make a little more of an impression when he faces Canelo’s sparring partner Ronald Ellis at the Montreal Casino, Montreal on Wednesday.
“I’ve worked super hard, I had the best camp I’ve ever had for this fight,” Bazinyan (30-0, 21 knockouts) told The Ring. “I’m stronger in my conditioning, the weight I push, in sparring, I hurt my opponents. I have no weight problem.”
While he’s been able to get the all important victories, the Armenian-born Montreal resident hasn’t by his own admission exactly thrilled. He’s been more workmanlike than exciting.
“Fox was a good fighter, he was tall, he tried to outbox me but I adapted,” said Bazinyan. “My style, I can adapt to any style. I won almost every round, he won maybe one or two rounds, it was a good fight. I had a loss in my life, after my father passed away. It was a good experience fight.
“Macias was a tough fighter, I was outboxing him, his style was to come and knock you out and in the seventh round, I put my hands low and I got hit, but I came back strong and showed what I’m made of but it’s wasn’t the best. It’s life and experience, it’s better now than if you do that type of fight in a world title fight.”
Bazinyan, rated at No. 6 by The Ring at super middleweight, appreciates that in the entertainment business winning isn’t always enough and is keen to leave a lasting impression that he hopes will force some of the bigger names in the division into facing him in 2024.
“This is the fight I want to make a statement,” he said. “He’s a tough guy, he went 11-rounds with [David] Benavidez, he went the distance with [Christian] Mbilli, who always brings pressure. If it goes distance, it’s not that I did bad, it’s an experience fight, he’s a tough fighter. The better the opponent gets, the tougher it gets, you can’t always knock someone else but I am confident in myself that I can knock this guy out.
“I think after this fight I’m ready to fight anyone like [the] Charlo’s, [Caleb] Plant or one of these guys in an eliminator or for a world title fight if it’s vacant. It’s my time to step up. I’ll show I belong in the elite. It’s now or never – I’m ready.”
The impression is that there is a talent inside and perhaps he needs that big opportunity to bring the best version of himself out.
Long-time trainer Marc Ramsay believes that may well be the case.
“We are in a zone where [Erik] is very highly ranked but he still has to learn a couple of little things to get ready for those fights, not only going for those fights but win those type of fights and this is exactly what we’re doing now,” said the world class trainer. “I think his last couple of fights he learned a lot of things. This fight in particular, I like because I fight him with Mbilli, I know how sophisticated and tough boxer, he’s a complete fighter, I think it’s a good learning process for Erik now. I want to make sure he keeps evolving as a fighter.
“Our objective is to win the bout but we need to impress people, make sure people think about Erik when they think about big fights. He needs not only to win but win impressively.”
His promoter Camille Estephan hopes that Bazinyan can do a number on Ellis.
“He had a spectacular camp, he has personal bests in conditioning, strength, he wants to stop Ellis,” said Estephan. “I hope he doesn’t fall in a trap because he really wants to make a statement. He’s overshadowed by Christian but I really think Erik has a special skill, he’s so natural. Ellis is dangerous, he’s saying he had the best camp ever, [his trainer] Buddy McGirt is very high on him.”
Ellis (18-3-2, 12 KOs) has been a professional since 2011 and is the elder brother of welterweight Rashidi and female amateur Rashida. He won 16 of his first 18 fights, the two blemishes were draws against Jerry Odum (D 8) and Junior Younan (D 10).
The 33-year-old New England native tasted defeat when he narrowly lost to DeAndre Ware (MD 10) in 2019. To his credit he rebounded by beating Immanuwel Aleem (MD 10) and once promising Matt Korobov (RTD 4). Ellis has since lost subsequent fights to Benavidez (TKO 11) and Bazinyan’s stablemate Mbilli (UD 10).
Sometimes it’s not enough to just win, you have to make a statement, especially if you want to be in the Canelo sweepstakes. While Bazinyan is ranked in the top five by all four sanctioning bodies, he’s not been banging on the door so to speak with his performances. He needs that statement performance. It will be tough to get it against a wily veteran like Ellis but if he can that would throw the gauntlet down to many in the division and show Bazinyan means business.
Bazinyan-Ellis will be a co-feature to the rematch between Femke Hermans-Mary Spencer on ESPN+ and Punchinhgrace.com at 7:00 p.m. ET/ 4:00 p.m. PT.
Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected].