Rangy super middleweight Alantez Fox will snap a 14-month hiatus from boxing when he faces unbeaten contender Erik Bazinyan at the Montreal Casino in Montreal on Thursday.
The 6-foot-5 Maryland-based fighter was last seen getting stopped by rising force David Morrell in December 2021, but Fox is taking this fight in stride. [Editor’s note: Fox’s height is popularly listed as 6-foot-4, but he insists he’s 6-foot-5, so the correction was made.]
“It’s just another day in the office. I’m hoping we don’t have any ring rust, ” Fox (28-3-1, 13 knockouts) told The Ring. “I’ve been sparring well and training since we had our last fight. I took one week off, so I’m ready.
“We’re on the precipice of my career. This time we’re going to make sure we get over the hill and get to the world championship level.”
The 30-year-old would likely have benefited from some ring time in the past year but welcomes his opportunity to go in with a top 10-ranked opponent.
“Ideally you would want a little warm-up,” he admitted. “By why not jump straight back in? I’ve always been that type of person. You know how people put their toe in the water to see if it’s OK? I jump in an do a cannonball. You may as well get your feet wet all the way.”
And he anticipates that to be the case against Bazinyan.
“I think he’s a very good fighter, fundamentally sound. He has some great boxing and power,” Fox said of Bazinyan. “I don’t think he is used to fighting someone taller than him. I’m going to make sure that makes all the difference. I have to make that a major factor in the fight, use my movement to out-maneuver him and out-land him. However the fight goes, it goes, but it’s going to be me winning.”
Fox, who got notice of this fight around Thanksgiving, acknowledges another defeat might spell the end of his professional career, which started back in the summer of 2010. Since then, he has fallen short when stepping up in competition against the likes of Demetrius Andrade (L UD 12), Liam Williams (L TKO 5) and Morrell (L TKO 4).
“Having a fourth loss on your career is damaging,” he said. “Especially someone like myself, being this height, it gives people another excuse not to fight him. ‘He has four loses, why should we fight him? It’s too dangerous, because we know he can fight.’
“[That makes me] highly dangerous. I’m supremely confident going into this fight. I’ve just got to go in there and show the best me.”
Fox has the ability and style to cause Bazinyan trouble. It will be interesting to see if Fox can stay on the outside and establish his height and reach advantages.
The form book suggests Bazinyan is the better and more rounded fighter and in his prime and will find a way to win. Can Bazinyan make a statement and match Williams’ and Morrell’s wins? If he can do that, he would further advance his claims.
Bazinyan (28-0, 21 knockouts), The Ring-rated No. 7 super middleweight, was an excellent amateur in Armenia before migrating to Canada and turning professional at 18. He learned his craft away from the pressures that often follow highly regarded prospects. It’s been a slow burn, but he seems to have matured into a well-rounded professional.
He took apart experienced club fighter Scott Sigmon (TKO 2), used a smart boxing brain to beat the much heavier Reinaldo Paniagua (TKO 9) and, most recently, scored a career-best win over former world title challenger Marcelo Coceres (UD 10).
ALSO ON RINGTV:
Erik Bazinyan eager to resume world title quest against Alantez Fox on Thursday – The Ring (ringtv.com)
Bazinyan-Fox will headline the Eye of the Tiger event on ESPN+ in the U.S. at 7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT., and the card will also be broadcast live on punchinggrace.com.
Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected].