SYDNEY, Australia (August 24, 2005) – As the bell rang for the first round in last night’s IBF World championship bout in Sydney, you just knew who was going to win. Armenian born Vic “The Raging Bull” Darchinyan was defending his world title and was desperate to make an impression with the Australian boxing fans, and also stake his claim as the best flyweight on the planet.
Last night, I think he achieved both, by battering the tough and experienced Colombian, Jair Jimenez (22-5-1) in five rounds to retain his title in what could only be described as an awesome display of sheer power and aggression.
Known as “The Raging Bull” to his fans, Darchinyan charged the smaller-looking Jimenez and sent out a fast, piston like-jab to establish his range, before opening up from his awkward southpaw stance to land some huge, debilitating left hooks to the Colombians mid-section, before finishing his accurate combinations to his challenger’s teak tough head.
Jimenez never had a chance and had never experienced this kind of onslaught in his entire career, and it was clear from the first body shot landed by the Sydney 2000 Olympian, that this fight was going to be over sooner rather than later.
Round 1. Darchinyan stalks Jimenez around the ring, jabbing out consistently before unleashing his power shots catching the Colombian to the body with seconds to go.
Round 2. Huge body shot to begin the round has Jimenez struggling for breath. The brave challenger sucks it up, but is throwing nothing but arm punches. Darchinyan continues to target the body with great results.
Round 3. Brilliant right-left combination stuns Jimenez, stopping him on his feet, but he regains his composure to survive the round, but only just. Big shots from the champion in the last seconds of the round, and the Colombian’s legs are gone.
Round 4. This is the beginning of the end for Jimenez. After a huge head and body combination flurry from Darchinyan, the referee gives Jimenez a standing eight-count, and still punch after punch continues to rain down on the hard-as-nails Jair Jimenez.
Round 5. Just before Darchinyan came out for the fifth, his trainer, Jeff Fenech, calls out, “Finish him and lets go home.” Darchinyan gives a wicked little smile, shrugs his shoulders and does what he has been told. Darchinyan is battering the Colombian at will and is landing to the head with big lefts; Jimenez looks like he is going to cry. At 2:23 seconds of the round, Jimenez is saved by the referee. TKO.
Vic Darchinyan decided to make the move to Australia after the 2000 Games in Sydney, and after a lot of setbacks in his five year career, he is now on top of the world. Darchinyan is champion and is where he deserves to be. This quiet, often funny little man trains as hard as any boxer I’ve seen in the gym, and will spar anyone. Fighting out of triple world champion Jeff Fenech’s acclaimed gym, Darchinyan pushes himself to the extremes and after all the sacrifices he has made to get to the top, god help anyone who wants what is his. Interviewing him after the fight, he said “my goal has always been to win the world title then unify. I want the WBA champ, Lorenzo Parra, then WBC champion, Pongsaklek Wongjongkam. If I get these fights, I’ll be happy. Jimenez was tough, but no-one can take my power.”
Now a world champion, Darchinyan and his people only want the big fights, and are desperate to attract a following with the Aussie fight fans, and capture their hearts like another famous immigrant boxer did, all those years ago in 1991. That man was Kostya Tszyu. While it is unlikely that he will ever make as much money or attract the same household status as the rat-tailed “Thunder From Down Under,” he could achieve the same hall of fame achievements in the ring, by becoming an undisputed champion.