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Monday, April 10, 2023

David Alaverdian is Impressive Early, Shrewd Late in Victory

Super flyweight David Alaverdian dominated the first half of his fight against the rugged Ernesto Irias in their six round affair tonight at the Westgate Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Alaverdian seemed to hit a wall before bouncing back thanks to a shrewd change in strategy.

Irias, a 27 year old veteran from Managua, Nicaragua, had his phone stolen in January. He came out in the first round like Alaverdian was the culprit, savaging the body of the 29 year old native of Nahariya, Israel. While Irias spent most of the fight as a southpaw, Alaverdian fought mostly in the orthodox stance and exhibited an effective jab in the first. Irias's body work had won him the first half of the opening stanza, but Alaverdian snatched the round back with some overhand rights and tons of head-snapping jabs.

Alaverdian dominated the second round as he connected with many hard power shots. As a southpaw he landed a straight left and then an overhand left. He added some more straight rights and jabs as a righty as he bloodied Irias's nose. The third round was even better for David.

After the assault to the head in the second round, Alaverdian understood he wasn't going to knock out Irias with a punch upstairs, so he started landing to the body with both hands. To end the round, he had Irias on the ropes and unleashed a rapid fire combination to the body and then punctuated it with a head shot. At that moment it actually seemed as if David could do the unthinkable: stop the iron-chinned Ernesto Irias.

He couldn't. And round four was Alaverdian's worst as a pro. The fourth round was a microcosm of the night. The show started thirty minutes late, the turnbuckles in the the red corner and one of the neutral corners were embarrassingly askew, and the ring card girls didn't have ring cards. Irias was listed as 1-0 in the tale of the tape and the broadcast team seemed oblivious to the mistake. Both Alaverdian and Irias comically were listed as middleweights.

At his best, Irias is a volume puncher who doesn't mind running through fire to land his shots. That's just what he did in the fourth. He started the round by shoe-shining, but quickly began landing harder blows. He scored with uppercuts, shook off Alaverdian's left hook to the body and overhand right, and came back with a combination up the middle. He landed some hurtful right hooks to the body and a couple of eye-catching lefts to the head. By the end, David looked tired and in a bit of trouble.

Irias went for the win in the fifth, continuing to fight like a buzzsaw. Halfway through the round, Alaverdian completely changed his strategy. He knew he couldn't stop Irias and fighting toe-to-toe invited unnecessary peril. So David began to touch and move. The plan thwarted Irias's momentum although it didn't do much damage.

To the portion of fans that lust for blood, Alaverdian's performance in the sixth and final round was surely distasteful, the type of boxing that elicits boos. But to fans of the sweet science, it was a work of art. David mostly stayed in the pocket and continuously ducked under the taller Irias's punches. Irias, a veteran professional fighter, couldn't hit his opponent. After slipping the shots, the Las Vegas-based Israeli popped up to pop Irias with some lighter blows. Ernesto became frustrated and demanded Alaverdian stand in front so he could punch him. As the late Zachary Wohlman once said, "It's called boxing, not stand there and get punched in the face." Alaverdian outboxed and out-thought Irias in that final round.

Three veteran Vegas judges turned in their cards. Kermit Bayless and Dave Moretti both scored the bout 59-55 for Alaverdian. Patricia Morse Jarman curiously had the bout even at 57. The Jewish Boxing Blog scored the fight 58-56 for Alaverdian. Only the fifth was a possible swing round.

Alaverdian moves his record up to 8-0-1 with 6 KOs. It was the best possible outcome: he got a win against a tough opponent and grew as a fighter in the ring. Ernesto Irias is now 15-7-1 with 9 KOs. He has lost his last four fights, but he has still never been stopped.

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