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14 NOVEMBER 2018

Where am I? Home Columns Paul Upham

Darchinyan arrives home, more confident than ever

Vic Darchinyan arrives home - pic by Tim Barry
Vic Darchinyan arrives home - pic by Tim Barry

By Paul Upham: IBF/IBO flyweight world champion Vic "Raging Bull" Darchinyan arrived in Sydney on Thursday morning more confident than ever about what lies ahead in his career. After starring in the lead fight on what was left of the Corrales-Castillo III card in Las Vegas last weekend, Darchinyan declared that he was not only ready to face any of the other world title holders at flyweight, but any of those in weight classes above him as well.

"I can get better," he said. "Every fight I am getting much stronger. I told them in America that I have a big display wall at home and I want twelve world title belts. I have been boxing for 22 years, but for me it is like I am just starting. I just love it. Every preparation, when I am getting ready for a fight, I love it like I have just started. I am never tired. I know I can show more and more. I can unify all the world title belts at flyweight and fight in different weight divisions."

The pure power of Darchinyan 26-0 (21) was evident when he stopped Luis Maldonado 33-1-1 (25) by 8th round TKO at the Thomas & Mack Center. The 28 year-old Mexican is a protégé of Erik Morales and had never previously been defeated, let alone hit that hard before.

"Maldonado was tough," he said. "He took a lot of punches but he was still going forward. I was impressed with him, but I was very ready for that fight. My conditioning from training and my fitness were great. In my last fight against Diosdado Gabi, I only had three weeks to prepare. This time I did a better job. My trainer Jeff Fenech did a great job. My fitness was much better after eight or nine weeks training. I was happy with the win. Maldonado was good. His record showed that at 33-0 going into the fight. Showtime were very happy with me. They liked my fight. They told me they would give me some great fights in the USA."

Fighting in Las Vegas for the first time, 30 year-old Darchinyan's exciting blend of speed and power leaves fans who see him for the first time talking very highly about him.

"My promoter Gary Shaw and Showtime tell me that my style brings very exciting fights," he said. "People watch me and they want to see me again. The Mexicans who saw me in Las Vegas liked my style. They came to me after the fight in Caesars and told me how much they liked the way I fight. Showtime told me that they were happy they didn't cancel my fight.

"Every fight I am improving. I can feel my power and my punch even more. I was sparring in Phoenix with much bigger guys, 15 to 30lbs heavier than me. In Los Angeles I sparred with Israel Vazquez (current WBC junior featherweight champion) who is three weight divisions heavier than me. I had some really good sparring with him."

The southpaw once again called out popular 26 year-old Jorge Arce 44-3-1 (34) from Mexico for a showdown at 112lbs.

"Arce and his promoter Top Rank heard what I said," Darchinyan said bluntly. "He beat a friend of mine Hussein Hussein and I want to fight him. But he is not a major goal for me. He doesn't have any world title belts. I want to fight world champions. But Arce beat a friend of mine and I want to challenge him. I told the crowd that I am the best at flyweight. If he thinks he is better, come fight me. We will see who the best is. But I know I am the best. If he is running from me he is not the best."

The Armenia born Australian citizen Darchinyan, who is promoted by Gary Shaw, will return to the USA either on the August 12 Hasim Rahman vs. Oleg Maskaev card in Las Vegas or on the September 2 Showtime televised card where Diego Corrales is expected to return to the ring. Undefeated WBO champion Omar Narvaez has been mentioned as a possible opponent.

With a large Armenia population around Los Angeles, Darchinyan can expect some enthusiastic support whenever he fights in the USA.

"There were around 1,500 Armenian fans who traveled from Los Angeles for the fight with Maldonado," he said. "There are 1.5 million Armenian's living in the USA, so there are great opportunities for me to draw large crowds. Next time my promoter will do more advertising for me to promote my fights to them. The new fans this time saw I was from Armenia and I got a good crowd. Now that they have seen me fight, next time it will be much bigger, 10,000 to 15,000 people."

Paul Upham
Contributing Editor

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