Aram Minasyan knew he’d won when he heard his opponent’s lungs deflate like a balloon.
The Calgary fighter whipped in a jab that had Kelowna’s Clive Fagan sucking air only midway through the 69-kilogram elite main event of Fight Night 3 on Saturday. Fagan dropped to the mat and only made it to an eight-count before he was ruled knocked out by the official.
“I heard him sigh, and I knew it was over,” said Minasyan.
It was a somewhat anticlimactic ending to what had been an entertaining night put on by the Nelson Boxing Club. Minasyan and Fagan looked every bit worthy of a being a top draw — for about a minute, anyway.
“That’s how I fight,” said Minasyan. “I don’t just want to win, I want to knock the guy out in the first round.”
Minasyan’s emphatic victory is all the more surprising considering he’s only been fighting since October. The 24-year-old has managed to squeeze in 14 fights since then with an impressive 11-3 record. He said he’s training at the Calgary Boxing Club five to six days a week to make up for lost time.
“Started a little late, that’s why I keep busy,” he quipped.
There may have been little doubt about who won the main event, but the result just one fight prior was a head scratcher.
Victoria’s Melvin Teagai, a southpaw who often kept his gloves dropped to his waists, controlled his bout against Cranbrook’s Nike Blackmore.
Teagai appeared to look indifferent at times and baited Blackmore in. The tactic worked, Blackmore was knocked down twice and both times had to pick up his mouth guard, but the judges still awarded Blackmore a unanimous decision.
A groggy Blackmore said after the fight he was surprised he’d won.
“I sat there and brawled with him and I shouldn’t have,” said Blackmore. “He hit me really hard and I’m a little slow right now.
“He knocked me down a couple times but I think points wise I won. But with hits that were harder he won.”
Seven Nelson fighters meanwhile competed on their hometown card.
Nelson’s Samson Berkeley won an entertaining bout against Kelowna’s Brandon Emerick, which ended with Berkeley pounding on his opponent in the corner for the decision.
Brayden Hellekson also gave Nelson a win with a unanimous decision against Revelstoke’s Logan Ancell. Hellekson set the tone with a right cross that shook Ancell in the first round, and the bout later ended with both fighters throwing haymakers.
Revelstoke’s Dominic Lentini earned a unanimous decision after working Nelson’s Kenny Stanton against the ropes and connecting on several punches.
Miguel Diaz of Kelowna overwhelmed Nelson’s Jesse Lyons early for the decision win. Diaz only stood as tall as Lyons’ shoulders, but the feisty boxer made up for that by closing the distance and using a nasty cross to knock Lyons down twice. Lyons rallied in the third and both fighters embraced to end a fun bout.
Meanwhile, Calgary’s Alain Bolun earned an unexpected win after Cranbrook’s Payton Muhlig became ill late in the second round of their match.
In exhibition bouts, Nelson’s Riel Martinez fought Cranbrook’s Dylan Muhlig; Max Berkeley of Nelson faced Cranbrook’s Tom White; and Elias Martinez boxed against Dylan Clark of Cranbrook.
The match between Elias Martinez, a hometown favourite, and Clark was far better than it should have been for an exhibition. Both fighters were evenly matched, with Martinez controlling the centre of the ring as Clark danced on the periphery. Martinez landed a vicious combo in the final round and tagged him once more before the bell rang.