GLENDALE — Lately, Vito Gasparyan's career had been characterized by long layoffs between fights and controversial judging that the light middleweight prospect felt robbed him of victories the last two times he did step between the ropes.
Now, with a freshly-inked contract with Don King Promotions in hand and a long-awaited victory under his belt, Gasparyan hopes those days of inactivity and frustration are behind him.
"Everything is going great for me, I couldn't wait to get in the ring and do my thing," said Glendale's Gasparyan, who did just that for the first time since November 2009 and won for the first time since December 2008 at the King-promoted Gateway to Glory in St. Louis on Saturday night. "My first fight with Don King Promotions. …I was really happy about it."
After suffering a disputed unanimous decision loss to hometown favorite Jermell Charlo in Houston in August 2009, followed by a majority draw against Pavel Miranda that also riled Gasparyan and his trainer Justin Fortune, Gasparyan (12-2-5, 6 KOs) left nothing in the judge's hands on Saturday night.
He battered journeyman Jessie Davis (11-19-1), who was a replacement on three days notice for Dave Saunders, until the eight-round fight was stopped by referee Celestino Ruiz at the 2:43 mark of the second round.
"I was totally ready for the fight," Gasparyan said. "The game plan was actually to wear him down a little bit because the guy was like nine pounds over [the 150-pound weight for the fight] and later on do the damage."
But Gasparyan ended up dealing plenty of damage to Davis in the first round, hurting him with a barrage of body blows and right hands to the head before Davis was saved by the bell.
"By the end of the first round, he was almost ready to go," Gasparyan said. "Ten or 15 more seconds and I would have definitely stopped him."
As Gasparyan continued to work in body shots along with right hooks and right uppercuts, the end arrived hastily in the second round.
Gasparyan finished off Davis, who, by that time, had several cuts on his brow and mouth areas, with a body shot and right hook to the head.
"The referee did a good thing to stop the fight and not let it go too far," Gasparyan said. "[Davis] was taking massive punishment.
"My power worked really well; I hurt him at the beginning. …I didn't want it to go to a decision."
Fortune, who has trained and cornered Gasparyan for his last three fights, said the key for Gasparyan on Saturday was keeping his composure.
"Not losing his temper was probably the biggest key for Vito," Fortune said. "When he doesn't lose control, everything just runs perfectly."
Several cancellations following his draw against Miranda led to his second eight-month layoff in the last three years, as he experienced a similar spell between beating Octavio Narvaez in Dec. 2008 before facing Charlo.
"That was really, really bad," Gasparyan said of the long gap between fights. "All those months of inactivity really had an effect on me mentally. Nothing physically, because I was in the gym every day — everybody knows how hard I work. I was just really happy the [Davis] fight was going on."
Gasparyan, who formerly trained at the Glendale Fighting Club, said he didn't even tell his friends and family about the fight until it was over just because he had grown tired having to notify people of his fights being canceled.
After signing with the veteran promoter in March, Gasparyan is under contract with King for the next three years at a minimum of four fights per year, a development which should eliminate his problems with finding competition.
The fights will progress in length from eight to 10 to 12 rounds and Gasparyan said he has been promised a world title shot within the next two years.
"We'll fight him again, move into 10-rounders and pretty much go from there," Fortune said.
November is being talked about for his next bout, Gasparyan said.
"Hopefully, it will happen in November," Gasparyan said. "I don't want to wait another eight months to fight again."