Following his dominating world title unification victory over Christian Mijares, Vic Darchinyan asked reporters at the post-fight press conference “Did I keep my promise (to knock him out)? What about my pound-for-pound ranking? Mijares was No. 6.” Even after a career changing win, the 115-pound IBF, WBC and WBA champ’s fight against Jorge Arce, Feb. 7 on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, is still about respect. “Against Mijares, I promised to deliver a skillful, smart fight. I promised to destroy him and knock him out. And I did that,” Darchinyan said. “But I still don’t know if I get any respect.”
It seems no matter what the “Raging Bull” does, it is not good enough for his critics. He has been criticized for his aggressive, unorthodox fighting style, yet against Mijares he demonstrated polished boxing skills.
An oft-quoted boxing magazine neglects to include Darchinyan in their top-ten pound-for-pound rankings, and his victory over Mijares helped him barely crack the top twenty of ESPN’s rankings at No. 19.
“Vic Darchinyan is not getting the credit he should be in the pound-for-pound list(s),” said Gary Shaw of Gary Shaw Productions, Darchinyan’s promoter. “He should be at the top. He’s knocked out almost all of his opponents and he deserves that.”
A six-to-one underdog going into the showdown against Mijares, Darchinyan (31-1-1, 25 KOs), of Sydney, Australia, by way of Armenia, is favored to defend his world titles against Arce, the WBC No. 1 ranked challenger.
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.
But don’t expect Arce, a trash-talking brawler like Darchinyan, to give the “Raging Bull” anymore admiration than he has to leading into the fight. And while Arce claims that he always respects his opponents, he’s not afraid to make a few predictions for their showdown.
“He has said things I don’t appreciate and it makes me work a little harder, but when we get in the ring I am going to hurt him,” Arce said. “I hope he stands there and fights for a while so I can really hurt him.
“I hope he doesn’t fall early because I want to give him a lot of punches. I know he can take a lot of punches, so I hope he is ready for them.”
Darchinyan and his camp might complain that he doesn’t get the respect he deserves, but the hard-hitting 115-pound champion certainly doesn’t give any either.
“I don’t respect my opponents, but I won’t underestimate them,” said Darchinyan. “With any opponent I will tell you what I will do with them. I believe any opponent who I fight I will dominate and destroy.
“I believe I will knock him (Arce) out, but I won’t knock him out in one round. That would be too easy for him. I am going to demolish him, destroy him and knock him out. He is going to remember me all his life.
Regardless of who respects who, fans can expect fireworks on Saturday night.
“Fans want to see fighters fighting, not dancing,” Arce said. “They want to see blood, I’ll give them blood. I love that. If it gets on me, I get more motivated and excited.
“I hope Darchinyan comes in the ring in shape so that we can have a good long fight and put on a good show. I want the fans to see a lot of blood and a lot of hitting. If I go down, I’m going to get up and I hope he does too.”
In an equally exciting co-feature, No. 5 ranked WBC lightweight challenger Antonio DeMarco (20-1-1, 14 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico, will take on “Kid Diamond” Almazbek Raiymkulov (27-1-1, 15 KOs), of Las Vegas by way of Kyrgyzstan, in a 12-round lightweight bout for the NABO title. DeMarco is no stranger to SHOWTIME boxing fans as he had three victories on ShoBox: The New Generation in 2008.
The 12-round world title fight, co-promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, and Bob Arum’s Top Rank, Inc., will take place from the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.