In an exciting, wildly entertaining one-sided slugfest, Vic “The Raging Bull’’ Darchinyan (34-2-1, 27 KOs) of Australia retained his WBC/WBA super flyweight crowns with a hard-fought, 12-round unanimous decision over Mexico’s Rodrigo “Gato’’ Guerrero (13-2-1, 9 KOs) in the main event on a special edition of ShoBox: The New Generation Saturday on SHOWTIME®. “If I don’t train hard for this fight, if I take this guy lightly, this is a much harder fight and maybe I lose,” said Darchinyan, who is hopeful his next start with be a rematch with Nonito Donaire. “This kid is a very good fighter. I hit him with a lot of good punches, but he took them all and kept coming back. I have never had an opponent stand up to me like he did.”
The hard-hitting Darchinyan triumphed by the scores of 120-108, 118-110 and 117-111 at The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa – but it was anything but automatic for the 34-year-old Australian-based Armenian who landed countless hellacious shots throughout but could never floor the game Guerrero.
A virtual unknown going in, Guerrero fought with poise and determination and never seemed in awe of the surroundings – the vast-majority of the fans in attendance were pulling for Darchinyan – nor was he intimidated by the heavily favored defending champion.
“I am not happy that I lost, but I feel really good that people finally got to see who I am, that I can fight and that I came here to win and not to lose or fall down,” said the talented Guerrero, 22, who fights out of the Marco Antonio and Jorge Barrera stable and had the brothers in his corner.
Guerrero, who was cut on the right eye by an unintentional butt in the fourth round, was disappointed but encouraged despite having an 11-fight winning streak end. “Actually, I thought the headbutts did the most damage,” he said, “I was never hurt by any of his punches.”
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Undefeated Lenny “Lenny Zappa’’ Zappavigna (23-0, 15 KOs) of Australia captured the IBO lightweight belt with a controversial 12-round decision over Fernando “La Fiera” Angulo (22-7, 14 KOs) of Venezuela by the scores of 116-111 twice and 114-113 in an excellent, non-stop action, bloody co-feature.
Zappavigna, who suffered a nasty gash on the right eyelid in the first minute of the eighth round, got an extra point when the referee penalized Angulo for holding and hitting and holding in the ninth, was ecstatic afterward.
“This was what I wanted, a tough fight, a war,’’ Zappavigna said. “Everybody expects me to go in and blow guys away but I wanted a war. I wanted fans to see that I could fight 12 hard rounds. The cut obviously had an effect on me, but I was not going to be denied. I came here determined more than anything to win that belt, and I got it.’’
Angulo, who was born in Ecuador and resides in Caracas, Venezuela, was convinced he got jobbed.
“This was a total robbery. I definitely did enough to win the fight,’’ he said. “The point they took away was totally unnecessary because we were both doing the same thing. The timing of it was bad. It will go on my record as a loss but I know in my heart that I won.’’
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The doubleheader promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, will re-air this week on Monday, March 8, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHO 2. Saturday’s fights will be available ON DEMAND beginning on Tuesday, March 9.
Nick Charles called the action from ringside with Steve Farhood and Antonio Tarver serving as expert analysts. The executive producer of ShoBox is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.