Luis Nery and Azat Hovhannisyan are set for a dangerous fight though where the lucrative reward far outweighs the high risk.
Both boxers made weight for their scheduled twelve-round junior featherweight title eliminator. Tijuana’s Nery was right at the 122-pound divisional limit, while Hovhannisyan—an Armenian contender based out of Glendale, California—came in slightly under at 121.6 pounds for the DAZN main event Saturday evening from Fox Theater in Pomona, California.
The winner will become the WBC mandatory challenger to reigning WBC/WBO junior featherweight champion Stephen Fulton (21-0, 8KOs), who next faces three-division champ Naoya Inoue (24-0, 21KOs) later this spring.
Nery (33-1, 25KOs) previously held WBC titles at bantamweight and junior featherweight. Both reigns ended without a single successful defense. He left his WBC bantamweight title at the scales after blowing weight ahead of a knockout win over Shinsuke Yamanaka in their March 2018 rematch.
Five wins followed, including a twelve-round, unanimous decision over unbeaten countryman Aaron Alameda in their September 2020 vacant WBC junior featherweight title fight. Nery suffered his lone defeat one fight later, conceding the title to then-unbeaten Brandon Figueroa in May 2021. Two wins have followed, including a ten-round decision over undefeated Carlos Castro to move to the number-one position in the WBC junior featherweight rankings.
Hovhannisyan (21-3, 17KOs) is riding a seven-fight win streak since his lone career title challenge, a May 2018 points loss to then-undefeated WBC 122-pound titlist Rey Vargas. In his last start, the 34-year-old Hovhannisyan scored a second-round knockout of Dagoberto Aguero last April 9 in San Antonio, Texas.
In the co-feature, second-generation contender Shane Mosley Jr. (18-4, 10KOs) fights in his true hometown for the first time in his pro career, as he faces Mexico’s Mario Lozano (33-10, 24KOs).
Mosley—who now lives in Las Vegas and trains with former 122-pound champ Clarence ‘Bones’ Adams—was 167.4 pounds. Lozano—inactive since 2019 and who has lost his last two starts—checked in at 165.2 pounds for their scheduled 10-round middleweight contest.
The fight is the first for Mosley since a ten-round, split decision victory over Gabriel Rosado last April 9 in San Antonio, Texas. The 32-year-old middleweight—whose father Shane Mosley Sr. is a Hall of Fame former three-division champion—has won five of his last six starts since a points loss to Brandon Adams in the series finale of ‘The Contender’ boxing reality TV show.
DAZN main card, 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT
Ricardo Sandoval (20-2, 15KOs), Rialto, California, 111.8 pounds vs. Jerson Ortiz (17-6, 8KOs), Managua, Nicaragua, 111.6 pounds—10 rounds, flyweight
Rowdy Legend Montgomery (8-4-1, 6KOs), Victorville, California, 167.2 pounds vs. Cristian Olivas (22-8, 19KOs), San Ysidro, California via Mexicali, 167.6 pounds—8 rounds, super middleweight
Golden Boy YouTube, 6:10 p.m. ET/3:10 p.m. PT
Asa Stevens (3-0, 1KO), Waianae, Hawaii, 127 pounds vs. Jenn Gonzalez (9-16-1, 5KOs), Santa Tereza, Nicaragua, 129.8 pounds—4 rounds, junior lightweight
Andrii Novytskyi (pro debut), Hollywood, 232.2 pounds vs. Gabriel Costa (1-3, 0KOs), Sao Paulo, Brazil, 204.2 pounds—4 rounds, heavyweight
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox