Without question, Erik Bazinyan is one of the most exciting young talents in boxing today. The undefeated prospect has all the hallmarks of being a future champion and, as noted in our report of his last outing, the challenge now is for his management team to find him opponents who possess the ability and strength to compete with him and help him develop. With a record of 12-0, and with both Rixa Promotions and Groupe Yvon Michel backing him, the sky’s the limit, as they say.
Erik is originally from Armenia and it was there that he learned to box. As Michael Carbert described in his profile of the young fighter, at first his family were not supportive of his decision to become a pugilist:
After three months he had his first match. He lost. His parents said enough was enough. “Stop. This is dangerous. This is not good for your future.” Erik still remembered what they had said before, still wanted to prove them wrong. He only worked harder. And now his trainer was certain: “You are very talented.”
But he didn’t feel talented after sparring one day with a national amateur champion.
“He was older than me, had been boxing for six or seven years. He fucked me up. I didn’t see where the punches were coming from.”
After each round, the coaches asked, “Erik, you want to change your sparring partner?” “No!” And he went back in for more punishment. That night he heard his parents beg him to stop with ringing ears, looked at them with eyes swollen and blue.
But he didn’t quit. He only trained with more intensity and a few months later he sparred once more with that same amateur champion. This time no one asked if he wanted to change partners; instead the trainers wondered what was keeping the champion on his feet as Erik landed punch after punch. “What happened?” he asked Erik when it was over. “You are so much better!”
Bazinyan has been residing with his family in Montreal since 2011 and as he prepares to take his professional career to the next level it was time for him to officially become a Canadian citizen. Our own Manny Montreal was on hand for the ceremony and for an exclusive interview with a young boxer who appears on his way to becoming a world champion. Armenia will always be “home” for the one they call “Bzo” but, as he says himself, “It’s time to represent Canada.” — Robert Portis