'Punisher' puts a finishing touch on busy year

GLENDALE — A successful amateur standout in Armenia, local lightweight boxer Artur "The Punisher" Bernetsyan has spent 2010 learning the ropes of the professional fight game stateside.

According to his trainer Edmond Tarverdyan, proprietor of the Glendale Fighting Club, Bernetsyan has grown as a pro with each of his six bouts this year, including Thursday night's unanimous decision win over Demetrio Soto at the Irvine Marriott hotel.

"The training over there [in Armenia] is totally different — it's just amateur style, they've never seen any pro fights and they've never sparred with anybody that's a pro fighter," Tarverdyan said. "It's a little different for him, but he'll adjust to it. …Everything is a learning process. He'll adjust to it and he'll become a better fighter."

Bernetsyan, who made his professional debut Jan. 8 at Glendale Glory 2, improved to 6-0 with two knockouts after winning each of the four rounds of Thursday's bout on all three judges' score cards.

"It was a good fight," Tarverdyan said. "Artur is a fighter, he gets in there and he fights.

"We've just got to do a little bit better defense, but we hurt [Soto] a few times. …We had our good moments, we're happy."

The fight was originally set for six rounds, but Tarverdyan said that during the weigh-in on Wednesday, Soto's camp asked to have the fight shortened to four rounds and both sides came to an agreement.

All of Bernetsyan's fights, except for his unanimous decision win over Rynell Griffin in six rounds on Oct. 16, have been four rounds and all but two have gone the distance.

Soto (5-3, five KOs) dropped his third straight and, according to Tarverdyan, was dangerously close to being stopped cold in both the second and fourth rounds.

"He was going to drop [Soto]," Tarverdyan said of Bernetsyan. "In [those] two rounds he was almost going to stop the guy. I guess that's why they wanted to do four [rounds] instead of six because they knew they couldn't have done six.

"The left straight was landing, the hooks, there were good body shots."

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