In what will be a brutal battle of pure power punchers, Vic “Raging Bull’’ Darchinyan will attempt to become a world champion in a third weight class when he challenges International Boxing Federation (IBF) bantamweight champion Joseph “King Kong” Agbeko on Saturday, July 11, live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast). The event is being co-promoted by Don King Productions and Gary Shaw Productions, LLC. Agbeko (26-1,22 KOs), of New York by way of Ghana, will be making the second defense of the 118-pound crown he won with a seventh-round TKO over Luis Perez in August 2007. A winner of five in a row, Agbeko is coming off a 12-round decision over William Gonzalez on Dec, 11, 2008. Darchinyan (32-1, 26 KOs) solidified his status as the No. 1 super flyweight in the world – and one of the top boxers pound-for-pound – with back-to-back impressive victories over Jorge Arce last Feb. 7 on SHOWTIME and Christian Mijares on Nov. 1, 2008, on SHOWTIME.
An Australia-based Armenian, Darchinyan exited his signature victory over Mijares with the IBF, World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Association (WBA) 115-pound belts. A former IBF flyweight champion, Darchinyan is appearing on SHOWTIME for a ninth time.
Agbeko, a relentless, aggressive-minded slugger, will be making his third start in the United States and second on SHOWTIME. His nickname is not really a nickname. “My name is Joseph King Kong Agbeko. That’s my real name,” he said. “It’s on my birth certificate and my passport.’’
By any name, this figures to be a dangerous assignment for Darchinyan, who’s talked about moving up in weight for a long time. “I’ll be ready and I’ll be stronger at 118,” he said. “Agbeko will feel my power, I promise you.”
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING announcers Gus Johnson and Al Bernstein will call the action with Jim Gray reporting from ringside. The executive producer of SHOWTIME Sports is David Dinkins Jr., with Bob Dunphy directing.
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