Fan favorite Vic “The Raging Bull” Darchinyan (33-2-1, 27 KOs) will make his fifth consecutive appearance on SHOWTIME® and 11th overall when he defends his WBC/WBA super flyweight crowns against streaking, world-ranked Rodrigo “Gato” Guerrero (13-1-1, 9 KOs) in the main event on a special edition of ShoBox: The New Generation Saturday, March 6, at The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage, Calif. The 12-round world title fight has been elevated to the main event since the Arthur Abraham vs. Andre Dirrell bout, originally set as the main event, has been rescheduled.
The March 6 telecast is promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, and will begin at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) with a 12-round lightweight bout between the fast-rising, undefeated Lenny Zappavigna (22-0, 15 KOs) of Australia and Fernando “La Fiera” Angulo (22-6, 14 KOs) of Venezuela for the IBO title.
Darchinyan, a brash Australian-based Armenian, standing five-foot-five-and-one-half-inch, at the age of 34-years-old, has scored knockouts in 14 of his last 15 victories.
In his last outing, Darchinyan retained his belts with an impressive second-round knockout over Tomas Rojas at Agua Caliente on Dec. 12, 2009, on SHOWTIME. One of Darchinyan’s most devastating performances came when he unified the 115-pound titles with a ninth-round knockout over Cristian Mijares on Nov. 1, 2008, on SHOWTIME.
“I have a lot of possible big fights in the future, but I need to beat this guy up decisively first,” Darchinyan said. “He’s in way over his head. I’m going to sand-blast Guerrero into an early retirement. Viva Darchinyan!”
Guerrero, of Ciudad Neza, Mexico, is a switch-hitter who has won 11 in a row, including impressive performances against Luis Maldonado and No. 1-ranked Alberto Rosas. A natural right-hander, the five-foot-five, 22-year-old Guerrero has campaigned exclusively in Mexico since turning professional on July 28, 2005. He is coming off a third-round knockout over Rey Lopez on Dec. 18, 2009, in Tijuana, Mex.
“This opportunity is what you live for, it’s what you dream about and I feel I’m ready for it,” Guerrero said. “I’m a brawler. I come to fight. You’re not going to see me box too much. Darchinyan is a big, strong guy with terrific power, so we know what he’s about and what he likes to do.
“I think the biggest key for a fight like this is not to be intimidated. You go in the first round and show him that you can bang with him, but you have to fight smart. I’ve prepared very well and feel that I can win this fight. I know it’s a difficult fight – it’s a difficult task, but it’s not an impossible one. I’m ready.”
Zappavigna, of Sydney, by way of Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia, will be making his SHOWTIME debut and second start in the United States. In his initial stateside start last Dec. 12, the five-foot-six, 22-year-old won every round en route to winning an impressive six-round decision over Sergio Macias at Agua Caliente.
Nicknamed “Lenny Zappa,” Zappavigna, who’s Italian, wears his hair like fellow Aussie and former world champion Kostya Tszyu — he has a long, rat-tail that extends from the back of his head – but he competes with the determination, passion and ferociousness of his idol, Arturo Gatti.
“I like to unleash a bunch of punches like Arturo, who was just a warrior,” said Zappavigna, who came out relentlessly against Macias and seldom let up. “I’ve always loved Gatti. He always came to fight.”
Considered by many to be Australia’s top pro prospect, Zappavigna went 72-9 in the amateurs and was a four-time national champion in his homeland before turning pro in June 2006.
Angulo is a former world title challenger who dropped a 12-round decision to then-unbeaten WBA lightweight champion Juan Diaz on Nov. 4, 2006.
The defeat to Diaz ended a 13-fight winning streak for Angulo, a five-foot-five, 29-year-old awkward boxer-puncher with good skills and movement.
Angulo was born in Ecuador and resides in Caracas, Venezuela.
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