A number of boxing experts see Mexico’s Cristian Mijares as one of the best boxers in the world but will that be enough against the tough talking, tough walking Vic “Raging Bull” Darchinyan on Saturday?
Once again the Home Depot will host a spectacular fight between little giants when Mijares, Darchinyan and a number of international boxing stars appear on Saturday Nov. 1, on the co-promoted show that can be seen on Showtime.
But if you’re in the Southern California area the tickets begin at $25. It’s one of those fights that cries classic match between the southpaws.
The WBA and WBC champion Mijares has suddenly become a media darling in his native country and is now also considered one of the top fighters pound for pound in the world. He’s never fought in Southern California.
In Darchinyan’s last appearance in the Home Depot Center he pummeled Mexican contender Victor Burgos for nearly full 12 rounds and sent him to the hospital in a coma. It took months before Burgos was declared healthy enough to return to Tijuana but boxing as a career was ended.
“I was hurt (sad),” said Darchinyan (30-1-1, 24 KOs). “I found out he’s OK so now there is nothing on my mind.”
Yet, not always can a fighter who hospitalizes an opponent to near death return without some glitch in his mental armor. In Darchinyan’s very next fight he was sent unconscious by Nonito Donaire.
Despite the loss and a subsequent draw with another Filipino, the Armenian strongboy returned for a world title fight and annihilated Russia’s Dimitri Kirilov for the IBF title. It served notice to the world that Raging Bull was back and he was knocking people out.
Darchinyan hates decisions.
“Who remembers fighters that are running,” said Darchinyan, who promises to knock out Mijares. “You’re going to see it’s not only talk. I’m delivering what I’m saying.”
The tough talk by Darchinyan has Mijares slightly miffed.
“He talks a little bit too much,” said Mijares, who looks more like a pop singer than fighter. “Words will not prove anything.”
Since 2005 the classic boxer has emerged from being a little-known 115-pound southpaw fighter to a widely acknowledged wizard. A dominating one-sided win over fellow Mexican Jorge Arce a year ago shot him to prominence. Then, a close struggle with Los Angeles expert boxer Jose Navarro stamped his legitimacy and talent.
Whoever wins between Mijares or Darchinyan would capture three world titles.
Thousands of Mexican and Armenian supporters are expected to arrive in force.
“He’s history,” said Darchinyan of Mijares. “He’s over-rated.”
Mijares shrugs at Darchinyan’s words.
“He’s doing all the trash talking here. He’s not my enemy, he’s my opponent,” says Mijares. “I expect that if everything goes my way, to take those three belts back home with me on Nov. 1.”
Japan’s hard-hitting Komeda (19-0, 12 KOs) makes his first appearance on American soil against Venezuela’s Jean Perez (13-3, 9 KOs) in a 12 round flyweight tussle. The Tokyo fighter is one of the more popular figures in Japan because of his ability to end a fight dramatically with a knockout.
In a super middleweight bout, America’s speedy southpaw Dirrell (16-0, 11 KOs) faces the pressure fighting style of Oganov (28-1, 28 KOs). Whoever wins will be heading for a world title.
“I know he’s a knockout artist, so I’ve trained with guys that can knock me out,” said Dirrell, who will have the height and speed advantage. “There’s a saying in boxing that goes ‘you can’t knock out everyone.’”
Oganov has never won by a decision.
"Muscle and power will beat technique and smarts,” offered Oganov. “I’m going to do the best that I can.”
Tickets are still available.
Julio Diaz in Las Vegas
Coachella’s Diaz, a two-time lightweight world champion, faces Mexico City’s Fernando Trejo on Friday, Oct. 31, at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Diaz (35-4, 26 KOs) is looking for another world title opportunity and knows every fight is extremely important in the talent-laden 135-pound lightweight division. Heading the pack is Manny Pacquiao, the WBC titleholder and Nate Campbell, who won the WBA, IBF and WBO titles by defeating Houston’s Juan Diaz.
Trejo (30-14-4, 18 KOs) has been among the top contenders for a number of years and has faced the best in the division. He’s known for having one of the best chins in the division and has wins over Jose Armando Santa Cruz and Luis Arceo.
In his last fight, Diaz stopped David Torres and handed him his first career loss this past June.
Librado Andrade title loss
A long count given by a Canadian referee to IBF titleholder Lucian Bute cost La Habra’s Andrade the world title in the last round.
Bute was clearly ahead after 11 rounds but Andrade battered him and knocked him down with seconds left in the 12th and final round of the title fight last weekend. The referee Marlon Wright began a count of 10, but stopped in mid count to look over at Andrade, who was standing in the neutral corner as the rules provide. Wright contended that Andrade was not in the neutral corner and stopped the count to warn him. Meanwhile Bute was recovering and the fight ended as the three-minute bell rang.
Fans all over the country and especially in the Southwest are fuming over the referee’s actions. Many want the referee banned from the sport.
It’s been a bad week for the Andrade family. His brother Enrique Ornelas (Andrade) lost to Marco Antonio Rubio by decision after tiring in the last three rounds in a middleweight title elimination bout.
Fights on television
Fri. Telefutura, 8 p.m., Julio Diaz (35-4) vs. Fernando Trejo (30-14-4).
Sat. pay-per-view, 6 p.m., Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (37-0-1) vs. Matt Vanda (39-7); Nonito Donaire (19-1) vs. Moruti Mthalane (22-1); Jorge Arce (50-4-1) vs. Isidro “Chino” Garcia (25-5-2).
Sat. 9 p.m., Cristian Mijares (36-3-2) vs. Vic Darchinyan (30-1-1).
Would you pay to see Manny Pacquiao vs Saul Alvarez?