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Monday, April 17, 2023

David Alaverdian Discusses His Last Fight

"It was a such a weird shot. It knocked my wind out," undefeated Israeli boxer David Alaverdian told The Jewish Boxing Blog in a recent phone interview. In the fourth round of his fight last Monday against Ernesto Irias, Alaverdian absorbed a body shot that put his career in peril.

Throughout the opening three rounds, Alaverdian stayed in front of Irias, loading up with his punches and trying to knockout the Nicaraguan. "During the first three rounds, I loaded up too much," he admitted. "In the second round, I saw him repeatedly touch his nose and look at his glove. He was looking for blood. I thought he was hurt, so I went for the knockout."

But David didn't get the stoppage. "It was a mistake to try to hurt him," he said. "I got tired from throwing so many hard punches. I didn't pace myself. I should've realized this guy's not going anywhere."

The 29 year old from the coastal town of Nahariya confessed that he underestimated Irias heading into the fight. "I saw some of his fights and thought he had bad technique and no skills. I knew he was tough. I knew he had an iron chin, but I wanted to try to prove something. It was stupid," David said. While impressed with Irias's relentless attack against former world champion Cristofer Rosales, David put too much stock into Ernesto's flat performance in his last fight back in January against Junior Zarate.

Throughout the interview Alaverdian repeatedly highlighted just how awkward Irias was to fight. "You can't really prepare for his style. There's no sparring for something like that. In the U.S., especially in Las Vegas, everyone fights so technical." Irias's awkwardness was the primary reason why David, a switcher, mostly fought in the orthodox stance. "He was too awkward to fight as a southpaw. I couldn't find the right angles without leaving myself open."

After sparring six rounds one day in preparation for the bout, David began feeling fatigued and came down with a sore throat. Those symptoms quickly expanded to include a headache and congestion to the point where he had trouble breathing. David believes either his seasonal asthma flared up or he caught a virus, but in either case, it meant five days away from training.

Meanwhile, Irias was in great shape. He had been preparing to fight Dewayne Beamon in March. That fight was pushed back to April 8 and ultimately cancelled. Irias then took the fight with Alaverdian.

Irias landed a hard body shot in the first, but David's adrenaline allowed him to ignore the pain. When that same body punch landed in the fourth, David was too tired to immediately shake it off. He survived the round and came back to the corner where head coach Cedric Ferguson and Floyd Mayweather Sr. were waiting for him.

Both Ferguson and Mayweather remained calm. "That's what I love about Cedric. He's calm in crazy situations," David said. "He's such a good coach and a good person." After the near-disastrous fourth, Cedric advised David, "Don't stand there and exchange punches."

"I started slow in the fifth, but I had my full energy back in the sixth," Alaverdian revealed. In that final round, Alaverdian saw Irias waving him in to stand and fight. "When I saw him doing that, I knew he was frustrated, and I knew I would win." Though David gave his overall performance a C+, he was most proud of his ability to "completely change my fighting technique in the middle of the fight." He continued, "It showed I'm versatile. If one thing doesn't work, I'm able to change tactics."

For those who may criticize his stick-and-move strategy in the final round and a half, he says, "The crowd went crazy the whole fight, but I'm here to win. Why wouldn't I keep boxing? It was working!" David said he loved fighting in his adopted hometown of Las Vegas for the first time as a pro and enjoyed all of his friends coming out to support him. "There were more people there than I thought there would be."

The swelling around Alaverdian's eye has since subsided. Now 8-0-1 with 6 KOs, he looks to the future. Plans often fall by the wayside in boxing, but David, who fought as a super flyweight last week, wants to move down to light flyweight and fight in August in Las Vegas if he had it his way.

He believes that's his best shot at achieving his ultimate dream: winning a world title.

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