Darchinyan sprays Mijares: HoganPhotos.com
By Paul Upham: Don’t think just yet that Vic “Raging Bull” Darchinyan’s vicious knockout win over Cristian Mijares in November will be the highpoint of his career. The WBC/WBA/IBF junior bantamweight boxing world title holder is promising to maintain the rage in 2009. First up is Mexican Jorge Arce on February 7 on Showtime Championship Boxing.
“Arce has got a big mouth,” Darchinyan told SecondsOut bluntly. “He is always talking. I want to close his mouth. I met him in Mexico in 2006. I went to his fight and challenged him in the ring. I thought the fight was going to happen at that time, but it didn’t. This time it is going to happen and I am looking forward to fighting him. I will show that when I want to be strong in the ring I can and when I want to be clever in the ring, I can be a clever, smart fighter. Against Arce I am going to be strong and I am going to punish him.”
Most experts in the boxing world were not expecting Darchinyan’s brutal 9th round knockout win on November 1 over Cristian Mijares, who was rated at the time No.7 pound for pound by The Ring magazine.
“Exactly what I said, I did,” observed Darchinyan 31-1-1 (25). “Mijares thinks he is a great fighter and a smart fighter. I told him, I am going to be faster than you and smarter than you. I am going to destroy you. People were not believing what I was saying. I am happy that a 1st round knockout didn’t happen, because some people would have said it was a lucky punch. But I beat him round after round. I broke him down and I knocked him out.”
Holding the WBC/WBA belts, Mijares was a strong favourite going into the unification match not only because of his own talent, but because of Darchinyan’s upset knockout loss to Nonito Donaire in July 2007. While it was hard for the Armenian born Australian citizen to accept at the time, he can now look back and realise that the defeat has helped him immensely.
“I am sure this helped me,” agreed Darchinyan. “It was better for me, my loss. I became undisputed champion. At flyweight, I was defending my IBF/IBO titles, but no champions wanted to fight me in unification. Now it is much better for me. I am undisputed champion, but hopefully, champions in other weight divisions will face me and then I can become world champion in other divisions. I want to repeat and become undisputed world champion again.”
The scary prospect for his future opponents is that Darchinyan claims he wasn’t at his best for Mijares.
“100% I am going to be much better next fight,” he said. “I am going to be much faster. I can be better. Before the Mijares fight, I didn’t sleep well. I didn’t slept one hour. I had a bad tooth problem. I was upset because I thought I was going to be tired in the fight. I was not the same in the ring, I can be much faster. I was faster in training.”
After he achieves each career goal he has set himself, Darchinyan refocuses on new ones.
“In Sydney 2000, I didn’t become Olympic Champion,” explained Darchinyan. “I was stronger than the other boxers, but they were just touching me and winning on points. It was not my way, not my style. As a professional, I knew no one could last with me over twelve rounds in a world title fight. I knew they could not run from me and I would knock them out. When I became professional and started winning, I knew I was going to become world champion. I wanted to collect all the belts. I want there to be only one world champion in my division. That is my goal. I want there to be one world champion – only me. I say I am the undisputed world champion now. But there is also WBO champion Fernando Montiel in my weight division. I would like to fight him and take his belt too, because in the history of boxing, there have been only two boxers who have held the WBC/WBA/IBF/WBO titles at the same time, Jermain Taylor and Bernard Hopkins. I want to do the same thing in different weight divisions now. If Montiel is not going to fight me, I am not going to wait for him.”
There is a history between Darchinyan and the Montiel family. In August 2003 in Penrith, Sydney, Darchinyan defeated Montiel’s older brother Alejandro Felix Montiel. While it did not end in knockout and went the ten round distance, Darchinyan beat up Montiel so badly the three judges handed in scores of 100-83, 100-84 and 100-88.
Darchinyan holds the WBC/WBA/IBF world titles: HoganPhotos.com
“Fernando Montiel knows he is not too much better than his brother,” said Darchinyan. “They are the same style fighter. He knows that. He saw how I punished his brother. How easy I beat his brother. Every round was like 10-8. He knows what is going to happen if we fight in the ring, as simple as that and that is why he is not taking the fight.”
While Montiel is currently on his list of most wanted matches, the other important fight for Darchinyan is to avenge his 5th round knockout loss to Nonito Donaire.
“Donaire just got lucky that time,” claimed Darchinyan. “It happened. In his mind, he knows that he got lucky. I would love a rematch. When I have a rematch with him, if I lose any round you can give the fight to him. I say this because I know that every round I am going to punish him. The referee or his corner will stop the fight because I am not going to knock him out – I am going to punish him round after round!”
The frustrating thing for Darchinyan is that no matter what he does now, he can’t force Donaire to give him a rematch. All he can do is keep winning and try to embarrass Donaire into making the fight.
“That is very bad,” said Darchinyan. “I want to fight him. I want the rematch. After my next fight, I am going to let the whole world know that I want a rematch and if he doesn’t fight me, everyone will know that he is chicken. He doesn’t want to fight me. Donaire is scared.”
If he can’t get fights with Montiel or Donaire, Darchinyan’s real priority is to win world titles in a third weight class.
“The most important fight for me now is a world title match at bantamweight,” he said. “I have not seen much of WBO champion Gerry Peñalosa, but I would like to fight him. He has a big punch, but I know that I can punch harder than him. I can knock him out. It doesn’t matter for which world title belt. Any champion at bantamweight. I want to become world champion in three weight classes, hopefully undisputed in two of them.”
In the lead-up to the Mijares fight, some suggested that he would not big enough to win at junior bantamweight. Darchinyan says that the size of a fighter does not matter and he has no concerns about winning world titles at 118lbs and higher.
“It is how you are confident and how you believe in yourself,” Darchinyan explained. “You can destroy your opponent. That is what I am going to do in any weight division. I told my manager Elias Nasser and my promoter Gary Shaw that I don’t want to just sit and defend. I want big fights and I want to win more world titles. I want to fight good fighters. I am ready.”
Though, Darchinyan has some concern that after the way he beat up Mijares so badly, there is a chance that some boxers won’t want to face him now.
“After the way I beat Mijares, it may go back to the way it used to be,” Darchinyan admitted. “No one will want to fight me. Fernando Montiel is not talking about me. Nonito Donaire does not want to fight me. I said this will happen. Before I beat Mijares, I said when I beat him all of these guys are going to take a step back from me.”
For now, Darchinyan is training hard for 29 year-old Arce 51-4-1 (39) to be held at The Pond in Anaheim, California, USA and all other fights will have to wait.
“I am going to fight Jorge Arce now,” said Darchinyan. “He is rated No.1 contender in the WBC and has a WBA interim title. That will give me two mandatory defences at the same time. But I also want to go up in weight and fight for bantamweight world titles. When I lost, people said my career is going to be over and I am going to retire. C’mon guys? One loss has made me better. I am only more confident now.”