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Darchinyan vs. Kelly will not go ahead in Sydney on November 25

Vic "Raging Bull" Darchinyan
Vic "Raging Bull" Darchinyan

By Paul Upham: IBF/IBO flyweight world champion Vic "Raging Bull" Darchinyan's mandatory defence against IBF No.1 Damaen Kelly from Ireland will not go ahead in Sydney on November 25.

SecondsOut was informed on Thursday that the promoter of the contest d-Rush Promotions, does not have the resources to proceed with the fight.

"It is a disappointing state of affairs when a boxer prepares for a fight and gets two weeks out and finds that a promoter cannot deliver on his contractual obligations," said Darchinyan's manager Robert Joske. "It leaves us in a very tight and tough position. That being said, we are working rapidly and hopefully by tomorrow, we will have an alternative so we are not putting Vic's world title belt at risk."

The Daily Telegraph newspaper in Sydney reported on Thursday that the IBO has still not been paid its world title sanctioning fee by d-Rush Promotions for Darchinyan's last fight.

"Unfortunately boxing has surrounded itself with people who are not familiar with the principles of doing good business," said Joske. "We are disappointed, but I am taking the proactive move now that we need to go forward and solve the issues and tackle what is in front of us by getting a fight up for Vic quickly with Damaen Kelly. Whether that is in Ireland or here in Australia."

SecondsOut has been told that a number of bills remain unpaid from Darchinyan's last fight on August 24 by d-Rush Promotions and their principle William Takataka, including a large one from the television production company that filmed the night for Sky Channel.

Darchinyan's trainer Jeff Fenech was outraged at the cancellation so close to the fight.

"These guys come in to the sport and make all these promises and then they can't deliver," he said. "They make us all look bad in Australia. They don't know what they are doing. It makes you feel sick what they have done to Vic."

29 year-old Darchinyan 24-0 (19) won the IBF title from long reigning champion Irene Pacheco last December in the USA and added the IBO title to his collection on March 27 this year with an 8th round stoppage of Mzukisi Sikali. He then made the second successful defence of his IBF title with a 5th round stoppage of Colombian Jair Jimenez on August 24 in Sydney.

There is a possibility that Darchinyan's fight with Kelly 21-2 (10) will be moved to the UK or to another city in Australia on an alternate date.

"We are looking at all the options and we are moving as fast as we can," said Joske, who is hoping to announce a final decision on Friday. "We have got a tightrope to walk and hopefully the IBF will be understanding. Vic has gone ahead in good faith. We had contracts in place ready to be signed, but they have been postponing the signing now for the last three or four weeks which made my alarm bells ring."

Paul Upham
Contributing Editor

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