Sako Bika & Vic Darchinyan
By Paul Upham in Marrickville: There were two reasons WBC/WBA/IBF 115lbs boxing world title holder Vic Darchinyan could have missed his Wednesday gym workout. First, it was 40 degrees Celsius in the searing summer heat. The second, January 7, 2009 was his 33rd birthday. But neither excuse was acceptable to the “Raging Bull”, who pushed himself through a two-hour workout alongside IBO super middleweight champion Sakio Bika.
“I will not celebrate my birthday until after I knockout Jorge Arce on February 7,” promised Darchinyan. The two talkative junior bantamweights clash on Showtime Championship Boxing at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
“I am going to knockout Arce so badly,” continued Darchinyan, “Fernando Montiel or Nonito Donaire will never ever talk about wanting to fight me ever again. This is the Chinese Year of the Bull and 2009 is going to be my year.”
29 year-old Bika, The Contender 2007 winner, knocked out Peter Manfredo Jr in three rounds on November 13 to win the vacant IBO world title. The “Scorpion” was working out at Darchinyan’s gymnasium on Tuesday at the invitation of his friend.
Armenian born Darchinyan 31-1-1 (25) and Cameroon Bika 27-3-2 (17) both turned professional in Australia in 2000 after representing their countries at the Sydney Olympic Games.
“Hey Vic, your birthday today!” said Bika.
“Yes, I’m turning 18 today,” laughed Darchinyan. “My birthday is going to be on February 7, one month later. We are going to have a big party that night in Los Angeles.”
The two boxers travelled from far away to base themselves in a new country and ultimately become Aussie citizens and achieve boxing success.
“I remember when I first met Vic when we were training at Bankstown under Jeff Fenech,” recalled Bika. “Vic was living with Danny Green and I could see he worked very hard in the gym. I saw his first few fights and he was doing well and getting a lot of support from the local Armenian community. Vic has always been a very confident fighter and he has gone all the way. I want to do what he has achieved. Vic is a good man and he likes to have fun and I give him some talk back. There is great respect and we are good friends.”
“Sakio is only 29 and he is still starting. He will have more great wins,” predicted Darchinyan. “He has good power and is very strong. We were both very lucky in coming to Australia and having the chance to become professional boxers in such a beautiful place. Sakio is a good friend of mine. We understand each other. We have fun together and we can joke.”
After Bika had given Darchinyan some warm hearted criticism of the “Raging Bull’s” music video selections during training, the junior bantamweight world champion asked, “Can you sing Sakio?”
“No, I can’t sing,” replied Bika. “But I can fight and I can dance!” At which point the carved in stone body of Bika launched into an impressive five move dance step.
The bell for a new round then rang and it was back to work as the two champions sweated it out in the brutal heat.