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Jauncey: 'We've got the antidote for 'The Doctor' Petrosyan'

Former world #1 lightweight Giorgio 'The Doctor' Petrosyan “a little past his best” and “can be broken”, according to his GLORY 25 MILAN opponent Josh ‘The Butcher’ Jauncey. The 22-year-old rising star, a finalist in the recent Lightweight Contender Tournament at GLORY 22 FRANCE, believes their Friday night encounter will be a passing of the torch from one generation to the next.

Petrosyan - nicknamed 'The Doctor' because of the surgical precision of his fighting style - had lost just one in eighty fights before he met Andy ‘The Machine' Ristie at GLORY 12 NEW YORK, and even that sole loss one he bitterly disputed. He blames it on being ill deliberately being given fouled water to drink by an unscrupulous Thai promoter. Nobody gave Ristie a chance of beating Petrosyan prior to GLORY 12; he shocked the world by stopping Petrosyan in the second round of their fight.

Injury was added to insult for the Armenian-Italian when it also transpired that he had badly broken one of his notoriously delicate hands during the encounter. Surgery was required and he took a year off competition. He returned at the start of 2015 and has gone 3-0 since, though only one of those opponents - Enriko Kehl - was of notable quality.

"I think Petrosyan can be broken. I think he broke against Ristie," says Jauncey, who is looking to repeat the feat on Friday. "Everyone talks about what a big knockout that was but if you look at the footage, he is on the floor and he takes his mouthguard out himself. If you are properly knocked out, you don't take you own mouthguard out. You don't do anything.

"Of course he was wobbled, but I think he was also very frustrated and throwing a tantrum. He broke his hand and Ristie hurt him, there were factors behind his frustration, but he wasn't KO'd.

"You saw when I got knocked down by Stevelmans? If that happened to Petrosyan he would have stayed down. I got up and won. I am not saying Petrosyan is not a ‘real' fighter, but has he been tested properly? Nobody else has done to him what Ristie has done."

Petrosyan's list of wins does have a healthy layer of padding courtesy of unremarkable opposition but there is no denying that it also contains some of the best names ever to step in the ring. Albert Kraus, Andy Souwer, Artur Kyshenko and Robin van Roosmalen all feature in his W column.

"People were scared of him, they gave him too much respect. There was an aura about him after he won two K-1 MAX tournaments... in a failing K-1 without the best roster, I might add. He is really good, he is great, but people didn't know how to fight him. They didn't know whether to brawl or to wait and try and play his game," is Jauncey's take.

"They didn't have a plan. I do, and you will find out at GLORY 25. We have got the antidote to the doctor. And after this, nobody will be talking about sending ‘The Doctor' to do a butcher's job. I think Ristie was the beginning of the end for Petrosyan and this fight might be the end for him... which is a shame in a way because we all enjoy watching him fight."

Jauncey's fight with Petrosyan is the co-headline fight of a card topped by Robin van Roosmalen defending the world lightweight (70kgs/154lbs) against Sitthichai, Thailand's breakout kickboxing prodigy. It would have been Jauncey in the title shot slot except he lost to Sitthichai in the GLORY 22 contender tournament.

"Sitthichai was just annoying. He has a different kind of timing. Everyone keeps talking about ‘oh his kicks were smashing Josh' - they didn't hurt. Not that much. They were just interrupting me, like a jab. Most of them hit me on the arms, a couple on the body, but they didn't take anything out of me. I was more fresh in the last round than he was," he says.

"I think lack of experience on my side showed through, it was only my second tournament as a professional and he was the biggest name I had ever fought so it felt a bit strange. But you give me a full camp to prepare and five rounds to fight him over, I beat him no problem."

As for how the fight between Van Roosmalen and Sitthichai will go on Friday night, Jauncey is undecided. "It's hard to say. Robin has never fought a Thai so the timing will feel different to him, like it did to me. We will see how he deals with that," he says.

"He didn't do terribly with Giorgio, who is also a southpaw and also has that Thai-style timing. I think Sitthichai is easier to hit than Giorgio so I can see Robin landing something big and putting him down. On the other hand I can see him having difficulty getting inside, like I did, because Robin is shorter than me."

GLORY's broadcast deal with Spike TV recently expired, with neither side apparently interested in a renewal. Multiple outlets are today reporting that there is a deal in place with ESPN, citing listings on the ESPN website and cell-phone app for a live broadcast of GLORY 25 MILAN on ESPN 3 followed by a re-air on ESPN 2 at 10:30pm. GLORY has not responded to requests for confirmation at time of writing.