No KO, But Darchinyan Keeps
Promise With His Victory
By Barbara Pinnella
Vic “Raging Bull” Darchinyan (36-3, 27 KO’s) told me a week
ago that he would win his fight with Jonnhy “El Columbiano”
Perez (20-2-1, 14 KO’s), and that he would do so by
knockout. OK, we got half of that Saturday night at the
Nokia Theater L.A. Live in Los Angeles, California. His
fight scheduled for 12 rounds was for the vacant IBO
This fight moved up to the main event from being originally
scheduled as the televised undercard fight in the
Bantamweight Tournament on Showtime. This occurred, as you
all must know, after the bout between Abner Mares and Joseph
Abgeko had to be postponed due to the back injury suffered
by Abgeko. Fortunately, any talk about scrapping the entire
card was nixed, and that was only right. All of the work the
other fighters had done in preparation for their fights
should not go by the wayside.
Darchinyan did not disappoint the huge Armenian attendees
as, for just over five rounds, he picked Perez apart piece
by piece. He came out true to his nickname and immediately
began to unleash his power on Perez. He loves the power he
has in his left hand, and Jonnhy had to eat that left again
Round two was much of the same. Perez can be considered a
slow starter, but he looked worse than that Saturday. He
would not let his hands go and allowed Vic to push him all
over the ring. It seemed as if every wide, swooping left
that Darchinyan threw connected somewhere, be it head or
body. Jonnhy was dropped in this round by what appeared to
be more of a push than a punch. Regardless, it was ruled a
knockdown, and one could already sense where this fight was
headed, even though there were 10 scheduled rounds to go.
Perez finally started throwing some punches in the third,
and while they were not too effective, he at least was
trying to do something. He would hit Darchinyan
occasionally, but when he did connect Vic just seemed to
move right on through his punches. Darchinyan threw another
wide left that wobbled Perez near the end of the round.
The fourth round saw no change in the onslaught. Vic was
relentless and was getting stronger as the rounds ticked
off. He would get Yonnhy up against the ropes and just
pummel him with both hands. Perez could find no answer for
the aggression and seemingly wild attacks he was up against.
The fifth round would be the last as an accidental headbutt
caused the ring doctor to put a stop to the fight at 1:07.
Perez could not continue after suffering a cut that caused
an arterial bleed.
Because the fight had gone the necessary four rounds, the
decision went to the judges’ scorecards. It was a unanimous
and not at all surprising 50-44, all for Vic Darchinyan.
After the fight Darchinyan said that “It was good to get
back to my brawling style. He hit me with some big punches,
but I didn’t feel them. I wanted to knock him out. If it
wasn’t the headbutt I’d have knocked him out.”
Vic had told me that he wants to move up in weight class,
and he said that again at the press conference. Promoter
Gary Shaw said that Vic singlehandedly brought back the
little man in boxing, and he thanked Showtime for
recognizing that the fights in the Flyweight and
Bantamweight division could be just as, if not more,
exciting than the big men.
Let me just say that having not seen him fight before, all
of the talk about Vic’s awkward style is not exaggerated.
But he is amazing to watch. While he sometimes appears
reckless, he also seems to control the show. It is a very
interesting contradiction that obviously lands him on the
top of the heap on most occasions.
While on paper I had heard many grumblings about the
undercard, there were some exciting fights. Unfortunately
the swing bout was probably the only sleeper on the card.
Vardan Gasparyan (13-2-5, 7 KO’s) won his scheduled six
round Junior Middleweight fight after the referee stopped
the fight against Trenton Titsworth (3-12-2, 2 KO’s) at 2:31
of round five. The action was all the Armenian, who had to
send his shots upward to reach the very tall Titsworth.
Still, Gasparyan was always the aggressor and it paid off
Azat Hovenensian (0-1) made his professional debut against
Juan Reyes (1-1) in a four round Junior Lightweight fight.
This was a really exciting little fight. Both men were
active and aggressive throughout the first round. The same
was true in the second. There was action the entire time,
with each fighter getting in some shots along the way.
The third round saw Reyes go ballistic on Azat. He hit
Hovenensian with everything he had the entire round, but
Azat refused to go down. That just means he didn’t hit the
ground, as I’m amazed that the fight continued.
In the fourth Azat actually tried to make a comeback. He
gave it a good try, but the fight had been decided already.
It was a unanimous decision for Reyes, 38-37, and 40-36
OK, could be confusing here, must go by first names, as Omar
Figueroa (11-0-1, 9 KO’s) went up against John Figueroa
(7-10-3, 3 KO’s) in a Junior Welterweight fight scheduled
for eight. Omar jumped right in at the opening bell and was
all over John with vicious body shots. He never slowed down,
and John was completely overmatched from the get-go.
In round two it was three right hands, mainly upper cuts, by
Omar finally dropped John. He got back up, but Omar went
right back to work, and was just pummeling John in the
corner. At the same time John’s corner was starting to wave
the towel and yell, the referee waved the fight off. This
came at 2:05 of round two. A fun fighter to watch, this
A Junior Welterweight fight scheduled for six rounds saw Art
Hovhannisyan (13-0-1, 7 KO’s) face off against Jose Alfredo
Lugo (11-16-1). The first round was a good one for both
fighters, as they were active and accurate. The second round
was more of the same.
Round three was a slugfest throughout. At this point Lugo
does not look like a fighter with 15 losses on his record.
He was overmatched by the more skilled fighter in Art, but
he was trying to figure out a way to win and not just
In the fourth the left hand of Hovhannisyan, which he loves
to throw, really began to make consistent contact with Lugo.
While Jose tried to keep Art on the ropes and punch him, it
had no effect on Art.
Hovhannisyan continued to connect with those left hands in
the fifth. Not surprisingly, it was another big left that
put Lugo down and out at 1:57 of round five. The undefeated
streak was kept alive.
The undefeated Miguel Diaz (5-0, 3 KO’s) kept another win
streak alive when he fought Alejandro Solorio (4-4, 3 KO’s).
This was an awesome and exciting fight between these two
Flyweights in a fight scheduled for four.
Not to sound redundant, but these two came out like
gangbusters in the first, fast, forward, and really going
for broke. The two of them got in some hits and were already
putting pressure on each other. Round two was much of the
It was Solorio gaining the upper hand in round three, but
just when it seemed he was in complete control, he got
caught with a left hook followed up by a right that sent
Alex to the canvas.
Alejandro was never able to really come back from that
knockdown, and even though he tried to muster something up,
it was Diaz who was given the unanimous decision, with all
three judges seeing it the same way, 39-36.
The curtain-jerker match was a Heavyweight bout scheduled
for 10 rounds between DaVarryl Williamson (27-6, 23 KO’s)
and Michael Marrone (19-3, 14 KO’s). The fight started out
with some strong left-right combinations by Williamson,
while Marrone was getting in some body shots.
The second was a bit slower until just before the bell, then
some good action appeared. The same thing happened in the
third. To be honest, Marrone was dropped in one of the early
rounds, but I’m not sure which it was, two or three – I
think it was two.
The fight continued back and forth for the next couple of
rounds. In the sixth there were many good, hard exchanges.
The seventh proved the demise of Marrone however, as
Williamson was just raining punches down on Michael. Just as
the referee was walking in to wave the fight off another big
right put Marrone down and out at 2:30 of round seven.
Michael was down for awhile, and when he tried to get up, he
sat down on the canvas again. Minutes later, he did leave
the ring under his own power.
So the night ended up to be a fun one, but I must mention
something here. This venue is not a good one for boxing.
Many photographers had a hard time finding places to shoot
from. The majority of fans are seated below the ring, so it
is a very different experience in the ring. The event was
not sold out, as they were asking people to fill in the
middle there sections before television time, but I heard
that a lot of the problem was the necessary cancellation of
the main event.
There was not only nothing to eat, at all, but not even a
bottle of water available. The place designated for the
press room had nothing in it but a bar, even though it was
set up for the press conference. I spoke with no other
journalist or photographer that found another room.
And since I mentioned the press conference, the microphone
did not work, so it was next to impossible to hear what
anyone was saying. Beside that, the bar was doing good
business by this time, and all of the conversation and
laughter would have made it difficult if the mic had worked.
In all, not the happiest working experience.
That said, the fights were, for the most part, worth
watching. There were some very entertaining ones, and the
main event definitely got to showcase Darchinyan.
Congratulations to Vic on his victory, and best wishes to
Abgeko to get well fast.
Be safe and God Bless,
Viva La Raza,