ANAHEIM-The little guys rumbled and in the end Vic “Raging Bull” Darchinyan proved too fast and too elusive for the iron chinned Jorge “El Travieso” Arce of Mexico and kept all three of his super flyweight world titles on Saturday.
Darchinyan found someone willing to trade in Arce, but proved in front of 5,540 fans at the Honda Center that though he couldn’t crack the will of the Mexican fighter he could cut him up and leave him searching for some way to grab the IBF, WBC and WBA titles.
“He surprised me,” said Darchinyan. “I didn’t expect him to fight the way he did.”
Arce withstood Darchinyan’s biggest barrages but could never land the big blow himself against the lightning left hand of the Armenian slugger. All night long Arce charged and the world champion dodged big blows and countered with left hand explosions. He kept his distance all night long at the behest of his Aussie corner.
Darchinyan led by a large margin on all three scorecards when the fight was stopped at the end of the 11th round because of several bad cuts on Arce’s face.
Arce immediately began attacking Darchinyan’s body but was not very successful. The left hand scored and opened up a cut on the Mexican fighter in the first round.
In the second round Darchinyan kept away until the last 10 seconds, then exchanged left hands with Arce. A left hook by the Mexican landed and left Darchinyan a little shaky and he returned to his corner.
Darchinyan opened up the third round with some rocket left hands and Arce met the challenge. Both brawled for most of the round with heavy punches landed by Arce and Darchinyan. Arce’s bull rushes were proving effective but only when the champion was willing to engage.
Arce’s head-first attacks were effective but then a left uppercut by Darchinyan wobbled the Mexican fighter who proceeded to use his veteran tricks to stay out of trouble the rest of the fourth round.
The fifth round was the closest so far with Arce landing right hands to the body and head. Darchinyan finished it with a hail of punches and kept punching through the bell to keep the Mexican from landing another big blow.
The junior bantamweight took a rest in the sixth but came out firing at the end of the round with a flurry of blows to steal the round.
Once again Arce opened strong in the seventh round but found Darchinyan waiting until the final minute to make his move. The faster punches of the Armenian fighter were proving to be the difference in the fight.
Both fighters looked tired in the eighth and ninth rounds but Darchinyan’s speed was still the difference in the fight between the two weary foes.
The fight slowed dramatically in the 10th round as Darchinyan followed instructions from his corner to keep distance from Arce. Pot shots from the Armenian fighter caught Arce but overall it was another dull round.
A clash of heads in the 11th round left a bloody gash over Arce’s right eye. At the end of the round the fight was called by referee Lou Moret on the advice of the ringside doctor for a technical knockout win for Darchinyan.
Arce was not pleased by the stoppage.
“I don’t know why the doctor stopped the fight in the last round, a fighter always has a chance to win,” said Arce, who was butted accidentally. “He cut me with his elbow, not a punch.”
Darchinyan did not deny that the fight was rugged and gave Arce his props.
“He hurt me with some good punches but I always came back,” Darchinyan said. “He proved to me he was tough and a good fighter.”
All three judges had Darchinyan far ahead by scores 109-100 when the fight was stopped.
“Darchinyan is a great fighter,” said Arce. “A very good fighter.”
Tijuana’s Antonio DeMarco (21-1-1, 15 KOs) captured the NABO lightweight title with a technical knockout at the end of the ninth round when Kid Diamond’s corner told the referee to stop the fight.
“I had the flu and got sick and weak after the sixth round,” said Diamond (27-2-1, 15 KOs) who fights out of Las Vegas.
DeMarco, had his best round in the ninth when he caught the elusive Diamond with right hands and a left hook that sent the Las Vegas fighter teetering. After some discussion the corner men for Diamond told referee Jerry Cantu to end the fight.
“I was aware we were running out of time,” said DeMarco who was ahead on two judge’s scorecards and behind on the third. “I had to go out and change that.”
Junior middleweight Vanes Martirosyan (23-0, 14 KOs) pounded out a victory over Ohio’s Billy Lyell with a consistent body attack in the first five rounds but paid the price with an injured left hand.
“He had a hard head,” said Martirosyan. “He was really tough up there.”
Around the seventh round the former U.S Olympian refused to back away and slipped into a more aggressive gear. Lyell liked the change in tactics but was unable to capitalize on the more stationary Martirosyan.
“We’ve been working on me not moving but it’s hard to adjust,” Martirosyan said about working on his new style. “Things are going well.”
The former Olympian boxed well and looks sharp. A world title match could be close for the Glendale-based fighter.
All three judges gave the decision to Martirosyan 80-72, 79-73, 78-74.
“We’ll see what the doctor says about the hand,” said Martirosyan as he looked the swollen fist.
Heavyweight Travis Kauffman (16-0, 13 KOs) overwhelmed Cliff Couser (26-18-2, 14 KOs) from the opening bell and forced referee Jerry Cantu to stop the fight at 2:41 of the first round for a technical knockout. Couser tried covering up but could not keep Kauffman off him and was never in the fight.
It was another strong performance for the Pennsylvania fighter who seems to get stronger every outing. He’s a very tough heavyweight who is picking up momentum. By next year Kauffman should be ranked if he continues to mow through heavyweights. He already has the calm demeanor of a veteran prizefighter.
San Diego’s Chris Avalos (9-0, 7 KOs) out-fought Las Vegas boxer Torrance Daniels (12-9-1) for seven rounds until the ringside physician convinced referee Jerry Cantu to halt the fight at the end of the seventh round in a scheduled eight round bantamweight bout. Avalos tagged Daniels hard during every exchange. From the outside Daniels used his reach to pot shot, but was usually enticed to engage inside and paid the price.
Houston’s Omar Henry (3-0, 3 KOs) tore through Moreno Valley’s Francisco Martinez (0-3) and caught him with two right hands on the chin for a knockout at 57 seconds into the first round of a middleweight fight.