By Karl Freitag
Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank
For six years, featherweight Vic Darchinyan (39-5-1, 28 KOs) has been chasing Nonito Donaire (21-2, 20 KOs), the man who took his undefeated status by crushing fifth round KO. Tonight, at age 37, “The Raging Bull” will finally have his chance for revenge.
The date was July 7, 2007 inside the Harbour Yard Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut. In the fifth round Donaire dropped Darchinyan with a clean left hook on the jaw. A dazed Darchinyan rolled over, struggled to his feet at the count of six, then careened across the ring into the ropes as his corner entered the ring, forcing referee Eddie Claudio to stop the fight.
“It was the only knockdown in my life – amateur or professional,” says Darchinyan. “Never been knocked down. I jumped up right away. If I take a couple of seconds on the floor to recover, maybe it would be a different outcome, you know? I had no experience with a knockdown. Now it is good – I have experience with it. I want to say to everyone I have been waiting six years. It was my mistake and I have good skills and I have power and I will not make the mistake again.”
Donaire-Darchinyan I took place at flyweight. The rematch is four divisions higher and 14 pounds heavier, which figures to benefit the seven years younger Donaire. The “Filipino Flash” needs an impressive performance after his shock loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux in April and a repeat performance against Darchinyan would be exactly what Donaire needs to get his career back on track.
Darchinyan knows he was hand-picked to make Donaire look good.
“Yes, I feel as though I have been chosen,” said Vic, who is a 10:1 underdog. “I think he was exposed in his loss to Rigondeaux. He had a good year and was voted Fighter of the Year, but inside me I know – personally he is a good guy, but about skills and power – he should not be pound-for-pound.
“I want to show all the people that what happened six years ago, three months after that I became world champion – I beat [Federico] Catubay, [Jorge] Arce, [Tomas] Rojas – all of them. I beat them all.
“I will prove it. I will stalk him. It is not about him. It is about me. I have more skills and I have more power. If I am motivated against someone – all of my title fights – I am getting prepared for me. I am not getting prepared for my opponent. I am getting prepared for myself. I have prepared mentally. I know everything that he is going to do and I know everything that I am going to do.
As for the difference between a 30-year-old Darchinyan and a 37-year-old Darchinyan?
“It doesn’t matter how old I am. There are many fighters older than I, like Martinez, Marquez and Hopkins.”
“I am very motivated for this fight because I lost to him. I know that if I took a couple seconds to recover, then the referee would not have stopped it and my corner not jump up, I believe I would have defeated him in that fight. Now I want to come and expose him and show all the world that I can not only beat him, but beat him easy.
“I just want to come and demolish him.”