The Armenians are an ancient people who have been fighting for land and cultural preservation for over a millennium. Their regional position and religious preferences have brought them into direct contact with an array of peoples—Persians, Greeks, Romans, Sasanians, Arabs, Mongols, Ottomans, Russians, and more. Yet still they persevere.
During their time under the Soviets they formed a noticeable part of the amateur fistic landscape. Vladimir Yengibaryan was an early fistic giant for the Bloc, compiling a record of 255-12 and taking home a gold medal at light-welterweight in the 1956 Olympic Games. David Torosyan snagged a bronze at the 1974 World Amateur Championships and the 1976 Summer Games, and 1993 World Amateur Champ at light-flyweight Nshan Munchyan was a quality operator, as well.
With the dissolution of the U.S.S.R. in 1991, many have now come to represent a diaspora in nations spanning across the globe (think Vanes Martirosyan for the U.S.A. and Vic Darchinyan for Australia), but some also bare the red, blue, and orange flag of an independent Armenia. Two recent examples are Hovhannes Danielyan and Narek Abgaryan. In 2016 Abgaryan competed in Rio, and while he didn’t medal, he was effective, nonetheless. Now he is a paid professional making an imprint at bantamweight in only 11 fights.
The 26-year-old has his 12th scheduled contest in less than 2 years and 3 months’ time and is reaching the cusp of contender status in a division that is part of regular water cooler talk because of its inclusion in the World Boxing Super Series. The class is already loaded with former unpaid standouts like Naoya Inoue, Rau’shee Warren, Nordine Oubaali, Mikhail Aloyan (a fellow ethnic Armenian himself), Juan Carlos Payano, etc., but Abgaryan’s crafty offense and savvy footwork could add yet another dimension to an already stylistically diverse cast.
Whether he could beat any of them is another story altogether, but first he has to get by what looks like a no-hoper on paper in 2-0 (0 KOs) Uzbek Shahzodbek Sharobiddinov on December 18th in Kazan, Russia. The Vagharshapat-borne man has conducted eight prior contents within the Federation, so it’s hardly a new journey.