Photos: Big Joe Miranda
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All four of the fighters who will be featured on Saturday’s excellent doubleheader on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING participated in a final press conference that was open to the media and the public. It was held at The Village at Orange in Orange, Calif. In what will be a slugfest from start to finish, Vic Darchinyan will defend his IBF, WBC and WBA super flyweight belts against Jorge Arce in Saturday’s main event 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 and 31 out of his last 32, 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) 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.
Remaining tickets, priced at $250, $125, $90, $60, $45 and $35 on sale, can be purchased through Ticketmaster (all Ticketmaster outlets), by phone, 714-740-2000, online at www.ticketmaster.com and at the Honda Center box office. (note: additional tickets at $35, $45 and $60 have been made available)
What the fighters had to say Wednesday:
“I’m not going to say too much about my opponent. I am happy he is 100 percent ready and has no excuses. He will come happy and enjoy the punishment on Saturday.
“I hope the fans come and enjoy they fight because I’ve wanted this fight for a long time. I want to prove that I am the best. I want to fight all of Bob Arum’s fighters.
“I’m very confident. I don’t know why Arce keeps saying he is confident. The second he sees my punches he will be running scared.
“I am happy I have all these titles, but it doesn’t matter if I am fighting for them (titles) or not. I will beat my opponent in the ring no matter what.
“He is going to come for defeat. He has never fought anyone like me before.
“I have no respect for my opponents going into a fight. I might respect him after, but while I’m in there I will destroy him.”
“I want to tell you that I am ready for whatever he is bringing. I never surrender and I am ready for Saturday.
“No one can stop me in the ring. I do not surrender and I am ready.
“This week has consisted more of resting and relaxing. My weight is not an issue at all.
“I feel very confident about my training and what my speed will be in the ring.
“This time, there is no horsing around. I’m just focused on the fight and the huge opportunity to be undisputed world champion.
“I have to be decisive in the ring. I cannot be reckless. I have to use movement and take the fight as it comes.”
“I’m very excited about this fight. I can’t wait to go out there.
“It’s going to be a very exciting fight. I know and respect my opponent. My promoter has given me a great opportunity.
“I know how good he is in the ring and I respect him, but once we get in the ring everyone is the same.
“I’m a dreamer. I came out of nowhere because everyone underestimated me. Very few people have given me the opportunity. I want to dedicate this fight to my family.”
“We’ve been waiting for this for a long time. This is a big opportunity for us.
“We respect our opponent a lot, but there can only be one winner and that’s what makes boxing so exciting.
“Saturday night will be one of the best fights you have ever seen.
“I’ve been spending a lot of time getting ready for this. You’ll be excited watching this show. Everything will be great on Saturday night.”
“I think Vic is misunderstood. I lot of people call him cocky, but, the truth is, he is a very confident fighter. He trains hard, not just for this fight, but for every fight.
“I’m glad to hear that Arce is coming in 100 percent. That is good. I’m also proud to say that Vic is coming in at 72 percent, but there are no excuses. Vic gets better in each fight. Maybe one day he’ll fight at 100 percent.
“He (Vic) is truly the best fighter in the lightweight divisions, meanings 122, 115 and 112 pounds.
“Today, I believe the action is with the lighter guys. It’s not with the heavyweights; these guys don’t get enough respect.
“It’s the team around Vic that translates to a family.
“This is Antonio’s first major opportunity to be the co-feature on a card of this magnitude against an opponent like Kid Diamond. For him, this Saturday is a coming out party. He just recently had a baby and he is dedicating this fight to his new child.
“There are so many good lightweights around, and we believe that this will be his (DeMarco) year to reach the top of this very strong division.”
“We’re going to have a great night Saturday at the Honda Center. It’s a spectacular show.
“I want to thank SHOWTIME and Ken Hershman for showing this tremendous event all over the U.S. SHOWTIME in the past few years has really come on strong presenting some of the best matches that boxing has to offer.
“There are so many good lightweights around, and we believe that this will be Arce’s year to reach the top of this very strong division.
“Everyone that follows boxing has been talking about the main event. It’s been brewing for years, but, like fine wine, if it aged it’s better than if it’s just made.
“This is a fight that has aged. It’s ready now and should be a candidate for fight of the year.
“It’s been a great pleasure for us to promote Arce. He brings excitement to the ring.
“He (Arce) is a character. Who can forget his great entrance a couple of years ago into the ring on a horse? But, for this fight, to show how serious he is, he is coming with the one thing that matters: his fists.
“I have never seen him so determined and ready to fight. I’m sure he will give you a performance that none of you will ever forget.”
FERNANDO BELTRAN (Arce’s Manager)
“It’s going to be a very exciting night of boxing. I want to thank SHOWTIME for promoting this fight as hard as they have.
“Arce is in top shape. He had a great training camp and he is ready. There are no excuses. Whatever happens on Saturday you will see the best Arce and Vic. There are no excuses in this one. We are 100 percent ready and Arce is going to win on Saturday night.”