Michael Avetisian eyes Irish Elite title following statement win in Holland


A new light weltereight will enter the Irish Elite mix next year and believes he has the division on notice following a strong end to 2018.

Dubliner Michael Avetisian has won both the Celtic Box Cup in Waterford and the Eindhoven Box Cup in Holland in recent weeks and now has his sights set on the Irish Elite light welterweight title currently held by Wayne Kelly.

Now boxing with Swords BC, Avetisian has a new lease of life, moving down from welterweight – where he was 2017 Intermediate champion – and has been in hot form in recent weeks.

Irish-Boxing.com caught up with the Armenian-born 19-year-old following his latest win where he defeated three reigning national champions in three days.

Avetisian recalled how “I boxed a strong Czech lad [Petr Novak] and I beat him 5-0 handy enough almost dropping him in the second round.”

“I then faced another current elite champion [Sean Spence] from Scotland the day after. I dropped him in the third round which I thought should have been a count but was ruled as a slip. I beat him 5-0 as well which was easy enough for me even after having an extra fight less than 24 hours before.”

“In the finals I faced a classy Monaco elite champion [Hugo Micallef] who had been away before this competition training in Cuba in a camp, his coach is Cuban. I beat him 4-1 in a great fight.”

Full of confidence, Avetisian described how “I feel like I definitely made a big statement because of the top athletes I beat and how well I beat them – as well as how I looked after the tournament, barely a mark on my face.”

“These lads have been boxing around the world in top competitions whereas I haven’t been given the chance and I’m going out here beating them easily.”

Last time Irish-Boxing.com spoke to Avetisian, back in 2017, he had moved up to the 69kg welterweight class. The explosive and elusive teen had noted how he had been draining himself to make the 64kg light welterweight limit, to the detriment of his punch resistance.

A lot has changed in 12 months – with Avetisian now feeling like he can make the proposed new light-welterweight/lightweight limit of 63kg.

He explained how “when I was boxing at 69kg it was too difficult for me to drop weight at the time to 64kg for some reason.”

“During the summer I got on a great diet and the weight dropped and it hasn’t gone back up since which is great. I feel amazing at the weight and the results just speak for themselves.”

“I had a good run at 69kg winning the Seniors [Intermediates] and making it to the finals of the U22s last year but it wasn’t my boxing weight. I got into my correct training rhythm and good dieting and now I’m feeling amazing at 64kg.”

“My club Swords BC are looking after me a lot as well with weight management and correct training which is really great and it is working for me.”

“I heard about the weight being changed to 63kg and I shouldn’t have a problem with it as I was weighing in at around 63kg over in Eindhoven before my fights and feeling amazing.”

With statements made in Box Cups, Avetisian is keen to make his mark in the national championships early next year.

A crucial championships with weights shifting and European Games places up for grabs, the winners next February will start on a path which could lead to the Tokyo Olympics and Avetisian wants to be in the mix.

The ambitious Dubliner outlined how “for the new year my main focus is to become Elite champion at 63kg and go for Tokyo 2020.”

“I know the U22s are coming up as well and I would really like to give them a go too but it’s just up to how far apart they are from the Elites. If there’s a good gap between them I’ll give both a go.”

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie