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Hovhannisyan set to return on FNF

6/11/2014

In February 2013, lightweight Art Hovhannisyan suffered his first loss, a 10-round decision to Alejandro Perez.

But Hovhannisyan has won two fights since and will look to extend it to three when he meets Jonathan Maicelo in the main event of "Friday Night Fights" (ESPN2, 9 ET) on July 11 at Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton, Washington, promoter Gary Shaw announced on Tuesday.

In the co-feature, middleweight Tureano Johnson (14-1, 10 KOs) will face Mike Gavronski (14-0-1, 10 KOs). Both bouts are scheduled for 10 rounds.

"As a fighter, I've come to realize you learn most about yourself after a defeat," said Hovhannisiyan (17-1-2, 9 KOs), an Armenian living in Glendale, California. "I've rededicated myself to training smarter, and my drive to be a world champion is greater than ever. Shaw knows I'm hungry to get back on top. Maicelo will have his hands full when we step in the ring."

Maicelo (20-1, 12 KOs), who is from Peru but living in New Jersey, is coming off a three-round no contest with Jorge Luis Rodriguez in a fight that ended prematurely because of an accidental head clash. Two fights before that, Maicelo got knocked out in the eighth round by Rustam Nugaev.

"I feel like my back is against the wall," Maicelo said. "I'm coming to make a statement, and I'll be going for the knockout. Hovhannisyan is a good boxer, but he's not better than me. I know I can win this fight and continue marching toward a world title. The fans can expect to see me bring the fight to Hovhannisyan."

Johnson (14-1, 10 KOs), of the Bahamas, got stopped by Curtis Stevens in his last fight in April, but it was a tremendous fight and highly competitive before a stoppage many believed was premature.

"In my last bout, the referee stopped the bout early, and I suffered my first loss," Johnson said. "It was a very disappointing moment in my career, but I'm ready to move on and show the world I'm one of the best fighters in the middleweight division.

"I'm coming back stronger than ever, and I can't wait to mix it up with Gavronski. Nothing is going to stop me from getting this victory."

Gavronski, who is from Tacoma, Washington, and will have the crowd on his side, will be fighting in his first 10-rounder and stepping up his level of opposition.

"I'm happy to be fighting at home in front of all my family and friends," Gavronski said. "Johnson is a very tough fighter coming off a tough loss to Stevens, so he's going to bring it when we step in the ring. I look forward to the challenge, and I'm confident I can defeat him."