Vic Darchinyan is the sort of cocky yapper who fight fans love to hate. He makes cocky statements before his bouts, and fightwatchers find it easy to root for the other guy to knock the hubris out of him. Cristian Mijares, many pundits figured, possessed the technical chops to render Darchinyan a fool, and he entered the ring at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA with a knowing smile plastered on his face. Mijares exited the ring, though, in a different frame of mind, after having that smile wiped viciously off his face. Darchinyan backed up his boasts with a battering left hand in the ninth round that ended the super flyweight unification bout on Saturday evening.
The official time was 3:00 of the ninth. The crowd didn’t offer Vic a change-of-heart shower of applause at the conclusion, unsurprisingly. Afterwards, without an ounce of humility, false or otherwise, the winner said, “And all the writers, did I keep my promise? Did I? I told you what I was gonna do. I told you I’m going to destroy him, knock him out, I delivered. What number am I pound for pound now?”
The cards read Darchinyan, 79-72, times three, at the time of the stop.
Darchinyan scored a knockdown in the first, and from the get go, he showed that he was in a different mode entirely than Mijares, who looked to be out of his element against a grittier, nastier pugilist. This win goes a long, long way in erasing the lone blot on Darchinyan’s resume, the July 2007 TKO5 loss to Nonito Donaire.
Mijares, age 27, weighed in at 115 pounds, while the 32-year-old Darchinyan was also 115 pounds. There was a coin flip to determine who’d get to enter the ring last, and the Australian/Armenian Darchinyan lost. The IBF’s junior bantamweight champion Darchinyan (30-1-1) heard it on the way to the ring; many fans were cognizant of the fact that in the same ring, he’d beaten Victor Burgos into a coma in March 2007. The Mexican Mijares (36-3-2) ate up lots of love on his stroll to the squared circle as he showed off his WBA and WBC 115 pound belts.
In the first, Vic went into bombing mode as Mijares sized him up. Vic scored a left uppercut knockdown with 20 seconds remaining. He rose at seven, and looked clear eyed. It was the second knockdown for him as a pro. In the second, Mijares started out busy, with the jab. But Vic landed a few solid lefts, and it looked like Mijares was getting himself into a style of fight that he is not suited for. In the third, there was swelling on Mijares’ right eye; he’d eaten many, many lefts already.
In the fourth, Mijares tried to change the flow by coming forward more. But he was still waiting too much. In the fifth, Mijares hit Vic low, but that didn’t slow him down all that much. Mijares pounded his gloves and chest, inviting Vic forward, but his fists weren’t matching his posturing, really. In the sixth, Vic yearned to find a home for his heavy left. He threw it straight, and as an uppercut when the opening was presented.
In the seventh round, Mijares landed a right hook early. Would he be able to turn his ship around? Maybe Vic was getting winded? Then Vic would hurl a straight left, and that was theory fell splat. Mijares neglected to move his head, and consequently, was taking punishment. That ain’t rocket science, that is common sense. Punch comes at you, move your head! In the eighth, Vic was the busier guy, bottom line. This looked to be an off night for a boxer, Mijares, who is typically more technically sound, and busier, than he was on this occasion. He ate a sharp left at the close of the round. In the ninth, Vic put together combos, and his power was still present. Mijares tasted it, and didn’t care for it. He went down, off a one-two, with two seconds left in the round. A jab had Mijares backing up straight, and a straight left sent him hard to the floor. At the count of seven, the ref halted the contest. Mijares stayed laying on his back as Vic’s corner lifted him up and paraded him around the ring. The cocky little bugger talked the talk, and walked the walk as well.
Super middleweight Andre Dirrell (17-0) came out bombs away in the first round of his TV opener. It looked like he might steamroll Victor Oganov (28-2) but Vic showed a steel tipped chin. Dirrell kept slashing away in the second, as he switched back and forth between righty and lefty stance.
A slice appeared under Oganov’s right eyebrow in the third round, and his corner took a long time to get a coagualnt on it. The cutman put adrenaline on it with 10 seconds remaining in the rest period.
Oganov knocked Dirrell to the mat in the fourth, but that was from a left hook to the groin. Ref Ray Corona screwed up, as he told Dirrell to get up, as Dirrell protested that he’d been fouled. The ref didn’t acknowledge that there was a foul, and thus, he should have scored it a knockdown. Or, if he didn’t judge it a knockdown, then that meant Dirrell should have been awarded time to recover.
Dirrell age 26, looked a bit winded in the fifth. But Oganov isn’t an accurate hitter and instead of continuing that theme, and going to the body, he went to the head, and mostly missed.
In round six, Dirrell scored a lightning quick stop. He landed a left uppercut, then another, and Corona stepped it to halt the bout, as Dirrell hit with a left hook. Oganov, age 32, was on the ropes, but conscious, and he protested the move. The end came at 28 seconds gone in the sixth.
All in all, Dirrell looked pretty good. He was in good shape, looking for the kill from the start, but his foe is no world beater. Oganov stepped up once before, last September against Fulgencio Zuniga, and the same fate befell him. Dirrell must take on a higher caliber foe next; he is ready.
Both men weighed 167 ½ pounds for the tussle.
SPEEDBAG Some Hollywood hoopla bled into the show, when comedian Tracy Ullman and Dancing With the Stars contestant Warren Sapp, the ex NFLer, were interviewd in between the first and second bout. Plugs were flyin’.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV