When Artem Harutyunyan (30) finally had the belt, he gathered the last of his strength, tensed his muscles – and roared like a lion in the ring: “YEAHAAA!”
The boxing professional did not fight for 15 months. First Corona came, then he broke his left hand twice during training. His comeback against the Ukrainian Vladyslav Melnyk (22) in the Universum Gym at Hamburg’s fishing port was an endurance test. For the fist that is stabilized by a titanium plate. And for the body that the bronze hero of the 2016 Olympics starved down a weight class.
The two lightweights fought a tough duel live on BILDplus for twelve rounds. The former Thai boxing world champion Melnyk, who stepped in as a substitute opponent, was bitter. In the end Harutyunyan won just on points. And got the vacant WBA-International-Belt.
“After the sixth or seventh round I said to Artur Grigorian in the corner: ‘Coach, I’m really exhausted. How should I go on? ‘”, The hamburger said in a tired voice. “He replied: ‘Hey, boy, this is your cave here, you are the lion, tear it open, fight to the end!’ That motivated me so much that I extended my claws like a lion and won the fight. “
Harutyunyan was noticeable in the long break in the first few laps. In the end he won one or two rounds more. Melnyk had prepared for a WBC elimination match. Because last week was canceled, he flew to Hamburg on Thursday. The universe professional had therefore not even studied a video of him. Harutyunyan: “The experience from my amateur career helped me. Now I treat myself to a Coke as a reward, but not light. My pants slip. Luckily I now have a belt. “
Ko-Gashi challenges Marco Huck!
Thoroughbred fighter Senad Gashi (31 / Hamburg) continued his impressive series. In the first fight after a biceps operation, he knocked out Dominic Vial (28 / Mönchengladbach), who had been undefeated until then, in the third round. His record: 21 wins – 21 times by knockout, with only three defeats.
The 141-kilo chunk of vial squeezed, clung and supported itself with full weight on the 17 centimeter smaller Gashi. But he kept firing hard rights at Vial’s head – until he only stumbled through the ring. “I still had a bit of ring rust and had to feel my way,” said Gashi (fighting name “Gashinegun”). And challenged Marco Huck (36) in the ring: “That would be a great fight!”
Bejaran wins for Mama Rosa (†)
In the super middleweight division, Caribbean tigers Rafael Bejaran (39) and Florian Wildenhof (39 / Altötting) fought a thrilling 6-round fight. The ring veterans fought hard, fair, and hugged each other after the last bell. Ex-WBF world champion Bejaran won unanimously on points. And dedicated the success to his mother, who died last year, to Rosa († 61). Because of Corona, he could not fly to her funeral in the Dominican Republic at that time. Promoter Thomas Nissen (boxes in the north) had tears in his eyes. “That he made Rafael great.”