This coming Friday night, welterweight contender Harut Grigorian (46-11, 32 KO’s) will challenge reigning champion Murthel ‘The Predator’ Groenhart (67-22-3, 38 KO’s) for his title.
It will be the third time they have faced each other. The first was in 2012 and saw Groenhart come back from adversity to score a third round stoppage. The second fight was at GLORY 42 and is now infamous thanks to Groenhart knocking Grigorian out with a legal but highly controversial punch from behind.
Will the third time be the charm for Grigorian? His coach thinks so. The Armenian welterweight hasn’t said much on the record, but in the gym he has apparently been letting his feelings be known.
“Harut doesn’t say a lot. He’s a quiet guy and he’s a little bit shy almost. He does his talking in the ring and it’s unusual for him to talk much about any opponent. A fight is just a fight to him - normally,” says Nick Hemmers, head trainer at Dutch institution Hemmers Gym.
“But for this fight with Murthel, yeah, he said a few things in the gym. When we talked about it he said man, I’m going to destroy him this time, I am going to knock his f—king head off. So you can expect a war I think. But then, it’s always war when Harut is in the ring!”
Despite the scoreline being 2-0 in Groenhart’s favor thus far, Hemmers believes the two are closely matched and that either man is capable of getting his hand raised when they are in the ring together.
“Both fights have been good fights. In the first encounter, Harut was putting all the pressure on until Murthel suddenly found an opening in the final round. In the second fight, again, Harut had him under pressure in the first round and also in the second, until that knee caught him.”
‘That knee’ opened up a cut over Grigorian’s eye and seemingly stunned him. He inexplicably turned away from Groenhart and started walking back to his corner, despite the referee having not intervened. Groenhart was thus able and entitled to throw the looping punch from behind which curved around to land on Grigorian’s jaw and knock him out.
With two encounters already in the books, has Grigorian learned anything about his opponent which will prove decisive in this third meeting?
“Well, Harut’s style is not one that really changes or easily adapts. He is a brawler. He wins by making you break. But, you will see some changes, some different things. He will turn the heat up in this one and trust me, you don’t want to miss it,” says Hemmers.