Darchinyan decisions Guerrero
Ringside by Francisco Salazar
Photography by “Big” Joe Miranda
Someone forgot to tell super flyweight Rodrigo Guerrero that he was just supposed to be an opponent on Saturday night against hard-hitting world champion Vic Darchinyan.
With a rematch against Nonito Donaire looming, Darchinyan needed someone to look good against. Instead, Guerrero gave Darchinyan fits throughout the fight and in the process made himself a player in the 115-pound division despite a losing, but commendable effort.
Darchinyan won a tougher-than-expected 12 round unanimous decision over Guerrero before a near-sellout crowd of 1,800 at the Show at the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage, CA.
The bout headlined a seven-bout “ShoBox: The New Generation” card, presented by Gary Shaw Productions.
Darchinyan was returning to the same ring at the same venue from his second round knockout victory over Tomas Rosas in December. Despite unifying or defending his titles, Darchinyan has been clamoring for a rematch against Donaire, who stopped the vocal Armenian-born fighter in July of 2007.
Guerrero was a virtual unknown, although he was ranked in the top 15 by the sanctioning bodies. He was fighting for the first time outside of his native Mexico, although he does have victories over Luis Maldonado and Juan Alberto Rosas.
Guerrero was able to match Darchinyan at the beginning of the fight. Both fighters landed well, particularly Darchinyan with his trademark left cross to the head. Undaunted, Guerrero was able to press forward, sneaking in some right hands to the head.
As the bout progressed, Darchinyan began to impose more of his will on Guerrero. Despite Darchinyan landing vicious shots, Guerrero kept coming forward at Darchinyan. What made it easier for Darchinyan was Guerrero’s lack of head movement, which allowed for Darchinyan to counter effectively.
Darchinyan did not let up in the middle rounds. Even in the seventh and eighth rounds, Darchinyan snapped back the head of Guerrero on numerous occasions. However, Guerrero did not back down, trying to counter after Darchinyan was able to score.
“He’s a good fighter and he took all of my best punches,“ analyzed Darchinyan. “He even came back fighting back.”
Guerrero had his moments, at times landing right hands that found their mark to Darchinyan’s head. However, those punches had little impact compared to those that Darchinyan threw and landed.
The vocal crowd came alive at the beginning of the 11th round as Darchinyan landed hard shots to the body, followed by punches to the head. Again, Guerrero did not back down, going straight at Darchinyan. Guerrero was able to withstand one final assault by Darchinyan in the final minute of the 12th round. Darchinyan landed a hard combination that momentarily stunned Guerrero. However, Guerrero was able to last until the final bell. Darchinyan gave Guerrero a deserving embrace after the final bell sounded.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Darchinyan, with scores of 117-111, 118-110, and 120-108. Fightnews.com scored the bout 118-110 in favor of Darchinyan.
“If I don’t train as hard and I take this guy lightly, this would have been a more difficult fight,” said Darchinyan immediately after the fight. “I might have even lost this fight.”
Darchinyan pointed out that if a rematch against Donaire can not be made, then his bout against Guerrero might have been his last one at 115 pounds.
Guerrero was gracious in defeat. Despite falling short against Darchinyan, his performance tonight should give him more opportunities for big fights.
“I’m not happy with the defeat, but I feel really good,” said Guerrero, who had former world champion Marco Antonio Barrera in his corner. “They know now who I am. I did not come here to lose or lie down for him. I came here to win.”
Darchinyan, from Sydney, Australia by way of Vanadzor, Armenia, improves to 34-2-1, 27 KOs. Guerrero, from Mexico City, DF, Mexico, 13-2-1, 9 KOs.
Zappavigna wins decision
In the co-feature bout of the evening, Lightweight Lenny Zappavigna won a hard-fought, clenching 12 round unanimous decision over Fernando Angulo. With the victory, Zappavigna claims a world title at 135 pounds.
Most of the action during the first three rounds were of both fighters clenching and holding. When they were not doing either, Zappavigna was quicker in beating Angulo to the punch.
Angulo was busier in the fourth round and was rewarded by landing more thudding punches to the head and body of Zappavigna. The middle rounds were difficult to score as each fighter had their moments.
In the eighth round, Zappavigna suffered a nasty cut over his right eye from what looked like a head butt. Blood seeped into his eye and down his face, at times making it difficult for him to see. Angulo went on the attack, throwing left hooks to the head and attacking the body.
Any momentum Angulo had built stopped in the ninth round as he was deducted a point from referee Pat Russell for hitting Zappavigna on the break.
During the last three rounds of the bout, Zappavigna boxed more from the outside, keeping his distance away from Angulo. Although Angulo went forward, Zappavigna attempted to counter from the outside.
Both fighters finished the final stanza strong. However, Zappavigna landed the more effective punches and was quicker to the punch until the final bell sounded.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Zappavigna, with scores of 116-111, 116-111, and 114-113. Fightnews.com scored the bout 116-111 in favor of Zappavigna.
Zappavigna, from Sydney, Australia, goes to 23-0, 15 KOs. Angulo, from Caracas, Venezuela by way of Sucumbíos, Ecuador, falls to 22-7, 14 KOs.
Hovanessian stops Stratchan
Lightweight Art Hovanessian stopped Hensley Stratchan in the fifth round of a scheduled six-round bout.
Hovanessian dropped Stratchan with a counter right hand to the head in the first round. Stratchan recovered and tried to fight back, but had no answer in fighting the more polished Hovanessian.
As the bout progressed, Hovanessian landed the harder punches, slowly breaking Stratchan down. Stratchan’s punch output dropped with each passing round as Hovanessian’s increased.
Things went further south for Stratchan as a cut opened over the right eye from a Hovanessian punch in the fourth round. Stratchan only threw one punch at a time and those were few and far between.
In the fifth round, Hovanessian went on the attack, landing more hard shots to the head and body. After Hovanessian landed a combination, Stratchan motioned to referee Jack Reiss that he was not able to continue, prompting Reiss to stop the fight at 1:45.
Hovanessian, from Glendale, CA by way of Yerevan, Armenia, improves to 11-0-1, 6 KOs. Stratchan, Nassau, Bahamas, drops to 5-7-1, 3 KOs.
Anderson stops McDavitt
Welterweight Michael Anderson dropped Anthony McDavitt twice, the final time for good in the first round of a scheduled six round bout.
The stockier McDavitt charged at Anderson from the opening bell, swinging wildly . Unfortunately for McDavitt, Anderson was able to drop McDavitt with a short right hand to the head. McDavitt was not visibly hurt as it was a flash knockdown.
Undeterred, McDavitt pressed the action and attempted to land to the body. However, Anderson dropped McDavitt with a left hook to the head. Referee Raul Caiz, Sr. stepped in and immediately waved the fight over at 1:13.
Anderson, from New York City, NY, improves to 5-0-1, 3 KOs. McDavitt, from Long Beach, CA, drops to 1-2.
Urban shocks Ali
In an upset, Heavyweight Brent Urban stopped previously-unbeaten Emad Ali in the first round of a scheduled six-round bout.
Urban charged at Ali from the opening bell, throwing wild hooks and crosses. Ali blocked most and even countered well to the body of Urban.
Just when it seemed as though Ali was in control of the action, Urban landed a left uppercut to the head, wobbly Ali. Urban went after Ali, who looked as though he was going down, but was held up by the ring ropes. Referee Jack Reiss administered an eight-count and gave verbal commands for Ali to walk towards him. Ali was still on shaky legs, prompting Reiss to stop the bout at 1:25. Ali protested the stoppage vehemently, complaining that he was able to continue.
Urban, from Dallas, TX, goes to 5-2, 3 KOs. Ali, from New York City, NY, falls to 5-1, 3 KOs.
Dennison decisions Sanchez
Junior lightweight Nohime Dennison won a six round unanimous decision over Jessica Sanchez.
This was a rematch from an October bout between the two, when Sanchez won a four round split-decision over Dennison. Ironically, both fighters reside in Albuquerque, NM.
Dennison was able to score a knockdown in the first 30 seconds of the round, landing a left hand to the head of Sanchez. Not visibly hurt, Sanchez fought on, but was outboxed by the shorter Dennison.
Dennison was able to land effectively on the inside as Sanchez seemed to be slow to the punch. Sanchez started the middle rounds well, but was out hustled by her opponent.
Sanchez picked up the aggression in the final two rounds. Sanchez was able to land to the head, often with straight right hands to the head. However, Dennison was in clear command of the bout, effectively landing to the body of Sanchez.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of Dennison, with scores of 60-53, 60-53, and 58-55. Fightnews.com scored the bout 58-55.
Dennison improves to 3-1, while Sanchez drops to 1-2-2.
Arrellano-Pantoja fight to a draw
Super bantamweight Jonathan Arellano won a four round unanimous decision over Danny Pantoja.
The more-polished Arrellano was busier and more effective in the opening rounds. Arrellano used his speed to land to the head and body as Pantoja attempted to counter.
Arrellano stopped throwing multiple punches and attacked Pantoja by mostly throwing one punch at a time. Taking the initiative, Pantoja was able to land more in the final two rounds of the fight. He pressed the action more, even scoring on the inside, particularly in the final stanza.
One judge scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Arrellano, while the other two judges scored the bout 38-38. Fightnews.com scored the bout 39-37 in favor of Arrellano.
Arrellano, from Ontario, CA, goes to 4-0-1, 1 KO. Pantoja, from Fairfield, CA, goes to 0-2-2.
- Bantamweight champion Yonnhy Perez, interim world champion Alfredo Angulo, Lightweight contender Julio Diaz, unbeaten Super Welterweight Vanes Martirosyan, and former contender-turned-promoter Kahren Hartyunyan caught the action from ringside.
- Nick Charles, Steve Farhood, and Antonio Tarver called the action from ringside for Showtime.
- A moment of silence took place before the television bouts started in honor of Edward Shaw, the father of promoter Gary Shaw. Edward Shaw passed away on Thursday at the age of 92. Gary Shaw was not in attendance as he was back home. Fightnews.com sends its heartfelt sympathies to the Shaw family and friends of Edward Shaw.
- Ring announcer was Jimmy Lennon, Jr.