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Montiel chases after history … and Darchinyan

Story by Felipe Leon
Photo by Chris Cozzone

Fernando "KOchulito" Montiel is chomping at the bit to get in the ring again, not only to fight, but to chase after history.

This Saturday night on the "Latin Fury 8-Tijuana Thunder" mega-PPV card, when Montiel faces Diego Oscar Silva of Argentina, it’ll be for the full-fledged WBO bantamweight title and not the interim version, as originally announced.

"This is going to be a regular title, an absolute one,” says Montiel. “I spoke with Paco Valcarcel (President of the WBO) and he confirmed it to me weeks ago."

The man that Montiel really has his sights set on is the so called "Mexican Executioner", undisputed super flyweight champion Vic Darchinyan.

"I don't like Vic Darchinyan and I hope the fight can be made,” says Montiel, with obvious disdain. “He speaks badly of Mexicans as if he has beaten me. He says that he is the Mexican executioner but he hasn't beaten me so he can't call himself that.

“It is too bad that there isn't many Armenians fighting in these weight classes so I can say that I am the Armenian executioner but until he fights me and beats me, then he can't call himself the ‘Mexican Executioner.’"

No love is lost between Montiel, who will be climbing into the squared circle for the first time this year Saturday night, and Darchinyan, who in his last bout soundly defeated Montiel's childhood friend, Jorge "Travieso" Arce.

Despite both fighters currently reside in separate weight divisions, a mere three pounds separate the two. Montiel is confident that the difference will not deter the two from facing each other later this year.

"I am going to wait for him in 118,” says Montiel. “He has stated that he wants to go up in weight. In fact, when he fought 'Travieso' Arce, I mentioned to him that we could fight at 118. I even told him that we didn't have to weigh ourselves, that we could just fight.

“That is how much I want that fight.”

Montiel has mentioned his desire to meet Darchinyan in the ring as soon as possible to his promoter Fernando Beltran and made it quite clear that there is no one else he rather fight.

“There is no other fighter in the bantamweight division that interest me except for Vic Darchinyan,” repeats Montiel. “Possibly some time in the future I might be interested in the WBC champion, the Japanese Hozumi Hasagawa. But it all depends on how things end up on Saturday.

"I have always wanted to have the big fights and being so close to it, I really want it. I have the word of my promoters Fernando Beltran and Bob Arum that if I win this fight on Saturday, that my next fight will be against Vic Darchinyan. I hope that the opportunity is presented to me so that I can take advantage of it."

But first, Montiel (38-2-1, 28 KOs) must get past Silva who holds an impressive record of 24 wins against only one defeat and three draws with 12 of those wins coming via knockout. That, and the fact that Montiel is not to familiar with the gaucho fighter makes Saturday's 12 round championship fight a stern test for "KOchulito."

"I don't know anything about him,” says Montiel. “All I know is that he has a 24-1 record and that he is an orthodox fighter. I do know that the Argentinean fighters are known as tough fighters who are always coming forward and we expect a difficult fight. I am confident in my conditioning and I know myself very well."

Montiel who hails from the boxing hot bed of Los Mochis, Mexico, understands the U.S. boxing fans' hesitation to travel south since his hometown is in the notorious state of Sinaloa known for its own wave of underworld violence.

“I want to say to the fans that they shouldn't worry, that they are going to Tijuana to a boxing show and not a war between drug lords or any other type of war, not at all," Montiel adds.

"It is a family event and there is no need for the fans to think that they are going to be in danger. I hope that they can get over that fear because they is going to be a lot of security and its going to be tranquil in that respect."

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