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18 NOVEMBER 2018

Where am I? Home Columns Paul Upham

Darchinyan wants more World Titles and a place in Pound for Pound Top Ten

Vic "Raging Bull" Darchinyan - pic Tom Casino/Showtime
Vic "Raging Bull" Darchinyan - pic Tom Casino/Showtime

By Paul Upham: Vic Darchinyan turned 31 on Sunday, but the way he sees it, the best part of his career is only just beginning. After bringing himself to the attention of boxing fans in the USA with three brutal stoppage wins on the Showtime television network in 2006, the IBF/IBO flyweight world champion is looking for the biggest fights available in 2007.

"It was a good year for me," he said, "but I want to win more world title belts and I will move up in weight if I have to. I want to fight three or four times this year."

Evidence that Darchinyan's reputation is rising as one of the best in boxing can be seen in the latest edition of the highly respected The Ring magazine. In his opening editorial, Nigel Collins suggests a new list of "dollar for dollar ratings" for world class fighters who "give boxing consumers the biggest bang for their bucks". Darchinyan is listed at No.6, behind No.1 Manny Pacquiao and ahead of other notable names such as Shane Mosley, Marco Antonio Barrera, Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton.

"I was very happy to read that and I am thankful that Nigel Collins has me on his new list," said Darchinyan. "But I not only want to be the most exciting fighter in the world, I want to be in the pound for pound top ten best boxers in the world and become undisputed world champion in different weight classes. I really want to have The Ring world champion belt around my waist."

Unfortunately, his promoter Gary Shaw's attempts to get him a unification match at flyweight have been unsuccessful so far. WBO champion Omar Narvaez 23-0-2 (15) has turned down two offers to fight Darchinyan, while WBC champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam 63-2 (31) has never fought in the USA and rarely fights outside of his home country of Thailand. While he has not fought since December 2005, WBA champion Lorenzo Parra 27-0 (17) would appear to be the most likely title-holder at flyweight to face Darchinyan 27-0 (21) this year.

Of course, the biggest fight on paper in 2007 for southpaw Darchinyan is a clash with Mexican Jorge Arce 45-3-1 (35), who also appeared on Collins' new "dollar for dollar" list at No.2. The 27 year-old is a former WBC interim flyweight and WBC junior flyweight world champion, who is now campaigning at junior bantamweight.

"Quite a few people I have been talking to in the USA are saying that Arce and me is the best fight they want to see in 2007," said Darchinyan. "I have always said I will take that fight at any time, it is up to the promoters and Arce to make it happen."

Another possible big fight for Darchinyan would be a move up in weight to face WBO junior bantamweight world champion Fernando Montiel 32-2-1 (24) from Mexico, who is promoted by Oscar De La Hoya.

While flyweights have historically not been a division featured in big time boxing in the USA, Darchinyan's last three stoppage wins over Diosdado Gabi, Luis Maldonado and Glenn Donaire showcased his aggressive and powerful style and ensured that he will have many new fans following him in the future. The Showtime network has taken a liking to his entertaining style and with the ensuing American and international television coverage of his fights, the "Raging Bull" from Armenia, who has citizenship of Australia, will be a boxer in demand for many years to come.

While he is currently waiting to sign a contract for the fight, it is likely that Darchinyan's next bout will be a mandatory IBF defence against the Don King promoted Victor Burgos 39-14-3 (23) in the USA on March 3, in the main support to the WBC lightweight champion Joel Casamayor versus WBA lightweight champion Juan Diaz clash on Showtime. 32 year-old Burgos from Mexico is a former IBF junior flyweight world champion.

"I'm going to get some tapes of Burgos and look closely at his style," said Darchinyan. "I'm already training for the fight and I want to put on another exciting performance and win for the fans. This will help me get the biggest fights possible in 2007 and some more world title belts."

Paul Upham
Contributing Editor

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