Pound4Pound, Boxing News

  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 Bantamweight Title.

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 and 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 for him.

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 twice.

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 Omar.

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 folding up.

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 same.

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,


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