LOS ANGELES — DaVarryl Williamson won a battle of two former heavyweight prospects by brutally knocking out Mike Marrone in the seventh round of their scheduled 10-round bout, which kicked off the six-bout undercard of the Vic Darchinyan-Yonnhy Perez headlined show at Nokia Theatre.
Williamson (27-6, 23 knockouts), of Washington D.C., dropped Marrone with a hard right hand at the end of the third round, but was stunned by a pair of left hooks when he tried to go for the kill at the start of the fourth.
Williamson had Marrone (19-3, 14 KOs), of Vero Beach, Fla., on the ropes and ready to go a few times in the fifth and sixth rounds, but the gutsy young man always fired back with a left hook or left uppercut that would earn the hard-punching veteran’s respect.
Williamson, who once had RING champ Wladimir Klitschko on the deck in a five-round technical loss, finally connected with a combination that took Marrone’s legs midway through the seventh round. A number of hard, accurate, and probably unnecessary right hands finished Marrone, laying him out flat at 2:30 of the round.
Unbeaten lightweight prospect Art Hovannisyan (13-0-1, 6 KOs) stopped durable journeyman Jose Alfredo Lugo (11-16-1, 5 KOs) at 1:50 of the fifth round of their scheduled six rounder.
The two had fought previously, with Hovannisyan, of Glendale, Calif., by way of Armenia, winning a close six-round decision. The rematch was a hotly contested scrap, but Hovannisyan controlled most of the action with his jab, defended himself better than Lugo, and scored well with his left hook.
Undefeated junior welterweight prospect Omar Figueroa (11-0-1, 8 KOs) stopped journeyman John Figueroa (no relation) in the second round of a scheduled eight-round bout. Figueroa, of Weslaco, Tex., used a concentrated body attack to wear down the usually durable Puerto Rican. The corner of the older Figueroa (7-10-3, 3 KOs) threw in the towel, ending the bout at 1:50 of the second round.
Undefeated junior bantamweight prospect Miguel Diaz (5-0, 3 KOs), of Allentown, Penn., won a hard-fought four-round decision over Alejandro Solorio, a relentless journeyman from Los Angeles.
Solorio (4-4, 3 KOs) soundly outworked Diaz and hurt the prospect to the body in opening round. The two went tit for tat in the second round. Diaz scored a knockdown in third, and the two went it at again in the fourth. Diaz worked his jab well and stunned Solorio in the final round to earn unanimous scores of 39-37.
Most ringside observes agreed that Diaz-Solorio was the best fight of the undercard. That is until debuting Armenian amateur standout Azat Hovenensian, a junior lightweight managed by Darchinyan, and Juan Reyes entered the ring. The two 130 pounders went toe to toe in all four rounds, bringing the crowd and even some members of the media to their feet on many times during the shootout.
Reyes (1-1), of Riverside, Calif., won the thriller by scores of 40-36 (twice) and 38-37, and came close to stopping Hovnanian (0-1) in a dramatic third round when he had the Armenian reeling from proverbial pillar to post. The fight probably should have been stopped, but Hovenensian refused to go down and the referee allowed to him take the savage beating.