SATURDAY, JAN. 24, 2009

Arce A No-Show at Wilshire Grand Hotel, Los Angeles

Before a jam-packed gathering, which included 12 television and internet cameras but NOT Jorge Arce, Vic Darchinyan had center stage to himself as he spoke with the national boxing media Saturday morning at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in Los Angeles.

Arce, who had agreed to attend the press conference, spent Saturday instead in the mountains of Mexico, where he trains. His unexpected absence only helped fuel the fire to an intense, heated rivalry that goes back several years.

In what will be a slugfest from start to finish, Darchinyan will defend his International Boxing Federation (IBF), World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Association (WBA) super flyweight belts against Arce on Saturday, Feb. 7, live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).

The once-beaten, hard-hitting Darchinyan (31-1-1, 25 KOs), of Sydney, Australia, by way of Armenia, will be making his first defense since unifying the 115-pound division with a one-sided ninth-round knockout over Mexico’s Cristian Mijares Nov. 1, 2008, on SHOWTIME.

A winner of five in a row, the popular, crowd-pleasing Arce (51-4-1, 39 KOs), of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, is the current WBA interim super flyweight champion and is a former WBC 115-pound and World Boxing Organization (WBO) 108-pound titleholder.

The co-feature on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING will pit WBC No. 5-ranked contender Antonio DeMarco (19-1-1, 13 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico, against “Kid Diamond” Almazbek Raiymkulov (27-1-1, 15 KOs) in a 12-rounder for the North American Boxing Organization (NABO) lightweight title.

The event, co-promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, and Bob Arum’s Top Rank, Inc., will take place from the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

What the participants had to say Saturday:


“I promise all of you today that I will punish Arce just like I did Mijares. I’m not going for the big KO early; I am going to punish him, let him recover, then I am going punish him some more and then knock him out.’’

(On why he still wants to fight Arce): “He was a well-known fighter and he is known for being a great puncher. But I want to show everybody that I am the bigger puncher and that I am the better fighter.’’

(His initial reaction to Arce’s No-Show at the press conference) “There is only one reason why he is not here. He is scared. He is a tough fighter, but I don’t expect much of a challenge. I am going to demolish him.’’

(On his improved technique) “Of course, I work on my tactics and skill but I have an aggressive style and I am a big puncher. I will use my defense; he won’t touch me. He is going to look like he doesn’t belong with me in the ring. He will not get close to me.

“He’s been hit in the head so much. He is not very smart for a boxer. He is dumb.

“All other Mexican fighters are brave and they’re great but what I can say about Arce is that he is using the name of past, great fighters (to make a name for himself). He wants to be one of them but he can’t be. He’s using names like (Erik) Morales. He thinks he is bigger than them.

“I’ve chased Arce all around the world for three years. It started in Mexico. Everybody talks about how he is such a strong, big puncher, but I will show I am a bigger puncher than him.’’

FERNANDO BELTRAN (President Zanfer Promotions in Mexico)

“Arce is not here. He is taking this fight very seriously and preparing himself in the mountains of Mexico.

“Gary (Shaw) is more than a promoter. He is the best cheerleader for his fighters. Yes, Gary is right. Darchinyan is chasing the stars, and we are making the stars. Arce was never hiding. Now, is the time to make this great fight.’’


“I see there is no table for Arce here so I assume he is not here and not coming. I’m sorry to all of you (the press) for his disrespect. Earlier, Bob Arum said that boxing is not dead. But maybe Arce’s career is dead.

“How appropriate: I see the lunch they are serving today is Chicken ala Arce. Seriously, Vic has been chasing Arce around the world for years and when Top Rank and Arce finally decided to take it, it took less than an hour to make this fight.

“Feb. 7 is a dream come true for Vic Darchinyan. For those of you who saw him fight Cristian Mijares, you know how good he can be. His loss to Nonito Donaire was the best thing to happen to him. It motivated him and now he knows to never take any fight for granted.

“Vic is a fighter who believes he can fight anyone, anywhere and that’s a wonderful thing for his promoter. While Top Rank’s guy is in the mountains, my guy is toiling in the valley of death (Las Vegas).


“This matchup has been a longtime in the making. The boys have been after each other for a while and it’s going to be a great fight. It will be as exciting a fight as you’ll see all year and it is going to end in a knockout one way or another.

“Arce has a tremendous following in Southern California. Tickets are priced very reasonably and we expect to have a great crowd on hand and a terrific TV audience for SHOWTIME.’’