He has been creeping higher and higher on pundits’ pound for pound rankings, but Vic Darchinyan’s place on the P4P trashtalking list is secure. Evil Vic is number one, and proved it once again, for those who might be inclined to hand the top spot to Mayweather, Hopkins, Mayorga, Miranda or maybe Malignaggi,* on a Tuesday conference call to hype his July 11 Showtime scrap with IBF bantwamweight champion Joseph Agbeko.
The 33-year-old Darchinyan (32-1-1, with 26 KOs; only loss vs. Nonito Donaire in July 2007-TKO by 5) is currently the acknowledged super flyweight king, but is keen on pulling a Pacman, and steadily climbing the poundage ladder, picking off champs on the way. Where will he stop, only the Armenian-born Aussie knows for sure, but when he talks about piling on 60 plus pounds onto his 5-5 ½ frame to take on a Klitschko, you get the sense that the hitter doesn’t regard that challenge as pure fantasy.
His last five fights, the former flyweight champion has been campaigning at 115 pounds. Against Agbeko, the IBF titlist who beat Luis Perez for the crown in Sept. 2007, EV will step in the ring at 118 pounds, but he promises one and all that there will be no loss of power as he goes north. No, as we’ve all become accustomed to, Darchinyan promises that Agbeko will feel the force of his foes’ power and will end up on his tush, being counted out at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla.
“This is going to be the biggest mismatch,” said Darchinyan, who said he’s been sparring junior welterweights to get ready. “Where would you like me to hurt you most? In the body or in the face?”
Ah, a rare moment of thoughtfulness from the pint-sized prognosticator! Giving Agbeko the option of where he can receive punishment, never let it be said that EV lacks the capacity to care!
“I’ve seen Agbeko’s fights and they don’t impress me,” he continued. “You will see, nothing compares to my power. I will knock him out with my power. I can open my jaw and let him punch it and he still won’t hurt me.”
Agbeko, for his part, seemed at home on the call, in this smack-talk milieu, and he gave as well as he got.
“I just want Vic to know that this is the fight of my life,” said the Accra, Ghana-born fighter, who now resides in the Bronx, NY. “I know Vic Darchinyan picked to fight me because he thinks he can have his way with me but I just want him to know that this is the biggest mistake he has ever made in his career because he’s going to get the worst beating of his career.”
Agbeko skillfully attempted to insert doubt into EV’s head, by referring to a blemish on his resume that lingers in the mind of Filipino fight fans, if not in Darchinyan’s, or his promoter, Gary Shaw’s.
“Why didn’t he talk like this when Nonito Donaire beat him? I wanted him to talk more and I want him to realize that I’m going to beat him more than Donaire beat him,” said the 29-year-old Agbeko, who will enter with a 26-1 (22 KOs) record on July 11.
Agbeko is a wild card for most US fight fans; he turned pro in 1998, and has fought in the US three times, in his last three bouts. He is not a vague threat to EV, though, who said that he has watched plenty of tape on Agbeko, including his 2007 loss to German resident Wladimir Sidorenko, in Germany. EV said he saw that fight, and disagreed with the call. “Congratulations, you were robbed in Germany,” he said. Thus, EV considers Agbeko undefeated, and will savor a win that much more, he said.
On the subject of losses, our Filipino readers are wondering if and when Darchinyan might want to avenge his TKO loss to Nonito Donaire, the Filipino/Californian.
Promoter Shaw repped Donaire, you might recall, but the boxer grew frustrated as he was inactive, and blamed Shaw. They split last summer, and not sweetly. Shaw said on the air after EV beat Jorge Arce in February that there was “not a chance” of seeing Donaire/Darchinyan II, citing Donaire’s lack of loyalty.
TSS asked Shaw about a rematch.
“Vic is not afraid of Nonito,” he said. “He wants to fight the very best out there. That’s why he fought Mijares, Arce and he’s fighting “King Kong” Agbeko. He’s been on TV, knocking out people on TV. Donaire’s hasn’t been heard of or seen.” Shaw cited as reasoning why a Donaire rematch doesn’t make sense now that his current promoter, Bob Arum, doesn’t list Nonito when he is listing his top young guns in the Top Rank stable. More likely, Shaw said, we’ll be seeing EV moving up in weight class, and trying to secure a fight with perhaps Israel Vazquez or Rafael Marquez. “That’s the plan,” he said.
What about you, Vic? Do you want a re-do with Donaire?
“Of course,” he said. “I’m going to demolish him.”
Shaw explained the resistance to a seemingly obvious and compelling course of action for EV. “Vic fights for money, not revenge,” he said. “If Vic gets seven figures, he will go to the Phillipines (to fight Donaire). We love the Phillipines and the Filipino people. But we don’t fight for revenge, only money.”
Ah, but when those two elements are combined, as they surely will be within the next year, then everybody wins, no? Donaire is slated to meet Rafael Concepcion on Aug. 15, for someone’s interim title, so the pinoys will have to be patient…
Hand speed, in EV’s favor could play part in the July 11 tussle, we think. But all the talk of moving up in weight, and a Donaire rematch, is it possible that we—and maybe Team EV—isn’t focusing properly on the Ghanian, who has power in both hands, knows how to handle lefties and can be hard to hit? Agbeko didn’t speak up on this subject, or even imply it, but if he is able weather EV’s power and leave Florida with his belt still his, we will all be focused on the lack of focus.
“I know I’m better than Vic Darchinyan,” Agebko said. “I know he can punch. I’m really, really ready for his punches. I know he’s never been on the receiving end of someone who punches like me. Vic is always talking about his power and about how he’s this and that but I’ve watched a couple of his fights and I never saw that power. He’s always fought guys that are afraid of him and he did what he wanted with them. But in this fight I’m going to do what I want to do and beat him the way I want. I’m going to let him do whatever he wants to do in this fight because I can do whatever he does better than him. After this fight, it is going to stick in your mind. You go into the ring, you will always be scared.”
Spoken, I must say, like a true Darchinyan.
Yes, it was an impressive showing on the conference call. If Agbeko's in-ring effort approaches the same level on July 11, Evil Vic may well be scooting back to 115, his expansion plan in tatters.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV