LOS ANGELES-A revved upVic Darchinyan wasted little time in devouring Colombia’s Yonnhy Perez with a barrage of punches before the fight was stopped due to an accidental clash of heads. Darchinyan captured the vacant IBO bantamweight world title on the score cards on Saturday.
Darchinyan had promised a meaner and more aggressive style and he kept that promise as Perez (21-2-1, 14 KOs) was stunned early and never recovered in a fight many expected to be close. The crowd at the Nokia Theater sat stunned from the very beginning at the onslaught.
“He took big punches. I wanted to knock him out but he is still a great fighter,” said Darchinyan (36-3-1, 27 KOs).
Darchinyan was the aggressor in the first round and let loose with some big left hand bombs. Perez just stayed in the pocket and fired a couple of right leads. Darchinyan landed a left through Perez’s glove for the best punch of the frame.
A short left cross by Darchinyan to the chin decked Perez early in the second round. A left uppercut wobbled Perez but somehow he survived a bludgeoning on his feet.
“I know it appeared differently from outside of the ring but I felt I was getting warmed up in there,” said Perez. “I felt I was making a headway as the rounds went on.”
Perez ignited fast in the third round behind some stinging right hands that seemed to slightly stun Darchinyan. But the gritty Armenian slipped into another gear and began firing left after left to win the round and nearly drop Perez.
Both slowed down in round four but Darchinyan unloaded a seven-punch combination to the head and body that had Perez reeling again. The Colombian rallied a bit but didn’t seem to have much zip to his punches.
A clash of heads opened up a gush of blood over Perez’ s right eyebrow in the fifth round and Dr. Paul Wallace advised the fight be stopped at 1:07, but there was no doubt that the score cards would favor Darchinyan overwhelmingly. Even in the shortened round the Armenian slugger dominated. Before the cards were read the Armenian fighter was hoisted on his corner man’s shoulder.
“I’m extremely disappointed it ended up this way,” Perez said.
Dr. Paul Wallace said it was his decision to stop the fight and that Perez never indicated he wanted to quit.
All three judges scored the fight 50-44 for Darchinyan and there was little dispute.
“Yes it was a head butt but if it wasn’t a head butt I would knock him out,” said Darchinyan, adding that he would fight Abner Mares or Nonito Donaire. “I’ll fight anyone in the division.”
Riverside’s Juan Reyes (2-0-1) slugged it out with Glendale’s Azat Hovhannesyan (0-1) in a four round junior lightweight clash. Reyes came out strong throwing punches like a machine gun and Hovhannesyan tried a variety of ways to diffuse the onslaught. Nothing worked. In the third round Reyes pounded the courageous Armenian boxer and it could have been stopped. But the fight went on and the fourth round saw both exchange liberally with Reyes landing more. Judge David Denkin scored it 38-37 and the other two 40-36 for Reyes.
Omar Figueroa (11-0-1, 9 KOs) of Texas caught Puerto Rico’s John Figueroa (7-10-3, 3 KOs) with a right uppercut-right cross combination in the second round of a junior welter bout. A follow up flurry saw the Boricua’s corner request referee Jack Reiss to halt the fight at 2:05 of the round.
Glendale’s Art Hovhannesyan (13-0-1, 7 KOs) stopped Mexico’s Jose Lugo (11-16-1) with a well-time right hand and a push at 1:57 of the fifth round of a junior welterweight match. The push probably did Lugo a favor because he could not beat the count.
“I’m sure my next fight will be a lot tougher,” said Hovhannesyan.
Allentown’s Mikey Diaz (5-0, 3 KOs) floored L.A.’s Alejandro Solario (4-4, 3 KOs) with a crushing counter right hand in the third round of a flyweight bout. Solario had a good first round but once Diaz softened the body he took the rest of the rounds. All three judges scored it 39-36.
Davarryl Williamson (27-6, 23 KOs) kept hitting Michael Marrone with big right hands but couldn’t seem to hurt the Floridian. In the fourth round a combo finally floored Marrone (19-3, 14 KOs) and in the seventh round a couple of razor right hands finalized the job at 2:30 of the round for a knockout win for Williamson. Marrone was taken to the nearby hospital for observation after the knockout. “He wasn’t responding well to the questions,” said Dr. Paul Wallace. “He had a bit of amnesia.”