Michael Rosenthal

Hovhannesyan and Cruz fight to cut-shortened draw

Art Hovhannesyan and Cristobal Cruz fought to a cut-shortened four-round draw in a junior lightweight bout on the Tim Coleman-Vernon Paris card Friday in Santa Ynez, Calif.

The heads of Hovhannesyan and Cruz collided late in the fourth round, causing a bad gash on Cruz’s forehead that prevented him from continuing.

The fight, which was entertaining while it lasted, went to the scorecards at that point, including a partial fourth round under California rules.

Judge Ray Corona had Cruz winning 39-37; Gwen Adair had it 39-37 for Hovhannesyan; and Max DeLuca scored it 38-38.

Adair’s score is curious. Cruz (39-12-3, 23 knockouts) seemed to outwork Hovhannesyan (14-0-2, 8 KOs) and certainly landing the harder shots, although Hovhannesyan landed solid blows, too.

Cruz, the former IBF featherweight titleholder, hadn’t fought for 15 months and is 0-1-2 in his last three fights. He lost his title to Orlando Salido in May of last year.

Hovhannesyan had won 12 consecutive fights, including a sixth-round TKO of then-unbeaten Archie Ray Marquez in August. He was born in Armenia but lives in Glendale, Calif.

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