Darchinyan retains throne with TKO over Arce
DeMarco stops Diamond
Ringside by Rocco Morales & Francisco Salazar
Photos by Big Joe Miranda
In a highly anticipated grudge match, unified IBF/WBA/WBC Super Flyweight Champion, Vic “Raging Bull” Darchinyan accepted the challenge of four time world champion and current interim WBA Superflyweight Champion, Jorge “Travieso” Arce.
There was no love lost between these two fighters who had their moments during the weeks leading up to the showdown. The 29 year old Arce, a winner of 31 of his last 32 fights, with 20 of those fights either being for a world championship belt or elimination fights for a world championship belt, hoped to be able to pull off a minor upset over the powerful Darchinyan.
Darchinyan, after unexpectedly losing his IBF Flyweight Championship to Nonito Donaire in July, 2007, has since been nearly invincible, going 4-0-1 including winning the IBF Superflyweight Championship with a convincing victory over Dmitri Kirilov, and then unifying the IBF/WBA/WBC Super Flyweight Championships with a crushing one-sided knockout victory over Cristian Mijares last November.
Coming into this fight, just as he did prior to the fight against Mijares, Darchinyan promised victory over Arce, and despite being four years older than Arce seemed to be the younger and fresher fighter.
Before a highly charged crowd made up of Latino fight fans who came out to support Arce, and Armenian fight fans who came out in support of the Australian based Darchinyan, both fighters entered the ring in what promised to be a brutal showdown.
From the opening bell, Darchinyan seemed to be both the faster and the stronger puncher and his unorthodox style seemed to leave Arce with few openings. Arce, in the opening rounds was peppered with Darchinyan’s punishing lead left cross and uppercuts.
In the third round, Arce finally started to show some life, connecting a few times to the head of Darchinyan with right crosses, but Darchinyan refused to give any ground and even launched a couple of hook/uppercut hybrid punches similar to “The Smash” punch made famous by one time heavyweight contender, Donovan “Razor” Ruddock, missing each time but definitely keeping Arce on his toes.
Rounds four and five had very good back and forth action and were probably Arce’s best of the fight, although he was never able to hurt Darchinyan.
By round six, Darchinyan reassumed control of the fight as his wicked left crosses and uppercuts continued taking their toll against the much weaker and slower Arce.
The next few rounds were more of the same, but to his credit, Arce never backed down and did all he could in his attempt to win the fight. However, against the very determined and relentless Darchinyan, it was not enough, as Darchinyan started racking up the points by winning round after round after round, all while Darchinyan was also trying his best to not leave the decision in the hands of the judges but rather tried to knockout Arce.
By the start of the tenth round, Arce had a look on him that suggested that he was well behind and that he knew he needed a knockout to win the fight. Showing the mettle of a true champion, Arce subjected himself to further punishment by Darchinyan while he tried, in a futile effort, to turn the tide. Instead, this only opened up Arce to further punishment.
Going into the eleventh round, Arce now had the look of a beaten fighter and his world only got much worse as he suffered a major cut over his eye, blaming a headbutt. For the remainder of the round, blood poured from above his eye as Arce struggled to see the dangerous punches coming from all directions from Darchinyan. Although Arce managed to survive the round, he really took a lot of punishment, especially in the tenth and eleventh rounds.
Prior to the start of the 12th and final round, the referee, upon advice of the ringside doctor stopped the fight, making Darchinyan the victor by TKO at 3:00 of the eleventh round.
With the loss, Arce may be best served signing up for more Mexican television gigs as he has now been fighting professionally for 13 years and despite not even being 30 yet, has taken a lot of wear and tear.
With the victory, Darchinyan cements his claim on being the best super flyweight in the world and seemingly looks invincible in the Super Flyweight division although WBO Super Flyweight Champion, Fernando Montiel, may disagree. –Rocco Morales
Demarco stops Diamond
In the co-feature bout, Antonio DeMarco stopped Almazbek “Kid Diamond” Raiymkulov after the ninth round of a scheduled 12-round bout.
DeMarco won a close 10 round split-decision victory over Jose Reyes in his last fight. Not only was this his first scheduled 12-round fight, but it was against his most difficult opponent on paper. His most impressive victory to date was a 10-round unanimous decision victory over Nick Casal in September of 2007.
Raiymkulov had won his last seven bouts in a row since an October 2005 stoppage at the hands of Nate Campbell. Raiymkulov had not fought since a September majority decision victory over former world champion Javier Jauregui.
It was a chess match at the beginning of the fight as the southpaw DeMarco threw and landed short left hands to the head. Raiymkulov did his best to counter with right hands.
Both fighters suffered cuts in the opening rounds. Raiymkulov had a cut above his right eye in the second round, while DeMarco had a cut opened in the third round over his left eye by an accidental head butt.
Raiymkulov attempted to bait DeMarco into throwing punches in an attempt to counter to the head. His plan worked at times as he landed hard right hands to the head of DeMarco, who took the punches well.
Beginning in the seventh, DeMarco began to be more active and would let his hands go more. He connected more across the head and at times finished with right hooks to the body.
Raiymkulov attempted to use angles and his awkward style to land lead right hands to the head. However, he began to slow down and his punch output dropped noticeably.
DeMarco controlled the ninth round as he landed hard shots across the head of Raiymkulov. Sensing Raiymkulov could be hurt, DeMarco pressed the action and punished his opponent with more left hands across the head.
After the round ended, the ringside physician checked Raiymkulov and allowed for the bout to continue. However, Raiymkulov decided to quit. Word was Raiymkulov felt weak because he contracted a cold yesterday (Friday).
Entering the 10th round, one judge had Raiymkulov winning the bout 86-85, while the other two judges scored the bout 88-83 for DeMarco. Fightnews.com had the bout scored 86-85 for Raiymkulov.
DeMarco, from Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, improves to 21-1-1, 15 KO’s. Raiymkulov, from Las Vegas, NV, drops to 27-2-1, 15 KO’s. With the victory, DeMarco won a regional title and positions himself for another decent payday. –Francisco Salazar
Martirosyan still undefeated
2004 Olympian, Vanes “The Nightmare” Martirosyan, 22-0 (14 KO’s), from Glendale, CA, hoped to open 2009 with a big statement over journeyman, Billy Lyell, 18-6 (3 KO’s), from Youngstown, Ohio.
Lyell was likely serving as nothing more than a measuring stick for Martirosyan since he has fought top competition in other contenders including James Kirkland and David Lopez, suffering knockout losses to each of them.
However, Lyell would never come close to being knocked out in this fight by Martirosyan, and the only “Nightmare” witnessed by fans was the boring fight that took place in the ring, as Martirosyan seemed to do just enough to win the majority of the rounds, but not much more.
It would later be reported from ringside that Martirosyan possibly hurt his hand in the opening round, but hurt hand or not, Martirosyan did not impress and even the large Armenian base of fans in attendance had little to cheer about in this fight.
There were no knockdowns in the fight and neither fighter was seriously hurt. To his credit, Lyell put on a spirited performance, seemingly giving it his all, but was outclassed by Martirosyan who took a unanimous decision victory by scores of 79-73, 78-74, 80-72.
FightNews reluctantly had Martirosyan winning the contest by a 78-74 margin and with the victory Martirosyan has now been taken the distance in three out of his last four fights and with four full years as a professional he seems to be taking quite a bit of time in developing into a true contender for the super middleweight championship. –Rocco Morales
Henry stops Martinez
Middleweight Omar Henry stopped Francisco Martinez in the first round of a scheduled four round bout.
A left hook to the head by Henry hurt Martinez. Henry followed it up by landing a right hand that backed Martinez against the ropes. Henry then landed a three-punch combination that ended with a right to the head that dropped Martinez to the canvas.
Referee Tony Crebs did not bother to count and waved the fight over at 57 seconds of the round.
Henry, from Houston, TX, improves to 3-0, 3 KO’s. Martinez, from Moreno Valley, CA, falls to 0-3. –Francisco Salazar
Kauffman stops Couser
Heavyweight Travis Kauffman stopped Cliff Couser, who has now lost his last seven bouts in a row, in the first round of a scheduled six round bout.
Kauffman fought just three weeks, when he knocked out Ken Murphy in the second round of a scheduled six round bout. In December, he stopped Malachy Farrell in the third round of a bout that was broadcast on Showtime.
He wasted no time taking the fight to Couser, whose last victory was a surprising stoppage over Monte Barrett. A double uppercut by Kauffman seemed to stun Couser. Kauffman went after Couser, landing vicious hooks and crosses to the body.
Couser did little to fight back and looked to survive. Suddenly, Couser’s corner threw in the towel, prompting referee Jerry Cantu to step in and stop the bout at 2:41.
Kauffman, from Reading, PA, improves to 16-0, 13 KO’s. Couser, from Las Vegas, NV, falls to 26-18-2, 14 KO’s. –Francisco Salazar
Avalos defeats Daniels
In an eight-round bantamweight contest, undefeated Chris Avalos (8-0, 6 KO’s) from San Diego, took on his most experienced opponent to date in Torrance Daniels (12-8-1, 5KO’s) from Denver, Colo.
Avalos, who turned pro just 12 months ago, came in off a very successful 2008 that saw him rack up all eight of his wins to dat and he wasted little time in getting started with tougher opposition to start 2009 in Daniels.
In an action-packed first round, Avalos asserted his power while Daniels showed that he was not just going to roll over but, rather, was a live opponent. Avalos showed ring savvy in mixing in hard body shots, in addition to the power punching to the head of Daniels to win the first round.
Round two saw Daniels come out strongly, but it only proved an opportunity for Avalos to show off his power punching skills, first by knocking Daniels mouthpiece out, and then after a brief timeout by the referee to attend to the mouthpiece, Avalos was able to pin Daniels on the ropes as the two traded left hooks. Trading left hooks with Avalos proved to be risky business and Daniels was dropped hard to the canvas but managed to beat the count of the referee and survived the round.
The middle rounds saw good back and forth action with Daniels able to land some good clean shots, if not win a couple rounds, but with Avalos continuing to wear down the resilient Daniels.
The beginning of the end for Daniels came in Round 7, when he proved to be too gentlemanly for the sport, dropping his hands when he and Avalos engaged in a self-imposed break. Upon the break, Daniels was floored by a hard overhand right from Avalos. Daniels, down for the second time in the fight, beat the count, bitterly complained to the referee to no avail and then continued to fight on.
However, after the second knockdown, it seemed as if there was no more wind in the sails of Daniels and he was battered about the ring by the relentless Avalos.
Prior to the 8th round, after consulting with the ringside doctor, the referee called an end to the fight, making Avalos the victor by TKO victory at 3:00 of Round 7. With the impressive victory, Avalos moves to a perfect 9-0 (7ko’s), while Daniels suffers only the second knockout of his career and drops his fourth in a row to fall to 12-9 (5 KO’s). – Rocco Morales
- Super bantamweight champion Israel Vazquez, heavyweight contender James Toney, super lightweight champion Timothy Bradley, super flyweight champion Fernando Montiel, heavyweight contender Chris Arreola, super welterweight contender Alfredo Angulo, bantamweight contender Yonnhy Perez, unbeaten Super lightweight Omar Chavez, former heavyweight champion Michael Moorer, and former world champion Genaro Hernandez, and former flyweight fighter-turned -promoter Kahren Harutyunyan caught the action from ringside.
- Ironically, the last time Arce fought at the Honda Center was two years ago. He dictated and had his way with Julio David Roque Ler, winning a wide unanimous decision.
- Attendance was 5,450.
- Gus Johnson and Al Bernstein called the action from ringside for Showtime.
- Ring announcer was Jimmy Lennon, Jr.