Sharkie's Machine: Vic Darchinyan Punishes Jorge Arce for 11 Rounds
By Frank Gonzalez Jr., exclusive to Doghouse Boxing (Feb 8, 2009) Photo © German Villasenor  
Vic Darchinyan improved his record to 32- 1- 1, 26 KO’s while delivering a beating to the charismatic but a bit overmatched Jorge Arce (51-5-1, 39 KO’s) Saturday night in front of a mostly pro Arce crowd in Anaheim . Right before they touched gloves, I figured it would take three rounds for Darchinyan to knock Arce out. Though Arce took a beating, he showed tremendous heart and will. In the end, Darchinyan was more gracious than ever, offering what sounded like compliments to Arce, who took his beating like a man, kept fighting, showed no signs of quit even when he looked like toast and surprised him on a few occasions that left marks on Darchinyan’s face to prove it.

As they entered the ring, Arce was all about the show, making his way through the ropes, decked out in his black cowboy hat, lolly pop in tow, in his mind he might’ve been wondering, “Who loves ya baby?” with a smile you never saw on Kojak. The look on Darchinyan’s face was one of content. A slyly wicked smile appeared on his face as he made his way to the ring with little fanfare. This was a business trip, only this time it was going to be a pleasure doing business.

The first round started and Arce came forward aggressively, throwing some shots and testing the waters. Darchinyan set up shop on the outside, took his time and waited. Soon they were exchanging punches and Darchinyan landed a left, Arce landed a left in return. Darchinyan landed an uppercut three different times and was finding Arce an easy target. The round ended with a cut around Arce’s right eye.

As the fight progressed, it appeared poor strategy for Arce, who threw mostly wide punches and moved constantly to the right…and right into Darchinyan’s left hand. Darchinyan picked Arce apart from the outside, jabbing, throwing combinations and feigning with that wax on wax off movement.

Things were looking bleak for Arce by the third round, when he suddenly discovered that he could catch Darchinyan with his trademark left hook over the top, if he brawled with him on the inside, where he landed some good shots in the third and the fifth rounds. I gave Arce the third round, where he landed the most shots, a couple that stunned Vic and one that caused a cut on Darchinyan’s eye. After losing the first two rounds, Arce had a note of confidence in his eyes as he sat on his stool during the break. Great drama so far!

Darchinyan took the momentum back in the fourth after Arce kept trying to brawl. Arce landed a few good shots, some hooks and a clean uppercut to the body. For a second, Darchinyan looked confused, like he wanted to brawl and destroy his opponent the old fashioned way. But Darchinyan was smart and stuck to his game plan and focused on boxing from the outside, where he was having his way with Arce. The fifth was a good round for both guys in spots. Arce rallied inside and scored well and Darchinyan landed a blistering combination right before the bell. I thought the fifth was even.

At that point, there was hope for Arce to keep it competitive but, it all went downhill from the sixth round on as Darchinyan, having been hit less, was fresher and dictated the pace, bounced on his feet from the outside and darted in and out with power punching flurries, often cracking Arce with something in the process. It was getting bad by the seventh, which could easily have been scored a 10-8 for Darchinyan, who punished Arce in bits and pieces for all of three minutes. With all the blood on his face, his eye closing up on the right side, Arce looked ripe for a knockout.

It was more of the same from eight through ten, and elevating to a nightmare for Arce in the eleventh, where he showed tremendous heart in the face of Darchinyan’s onslaught, trying to close the show with a knockout. After the eleventh, the ringside doctor, Paul Wallace, stepped up and stopped the fight, citing Arce’s cut eye.

Vic Darchinyan had won by TKO 11.

Arce went over and thanked Vic for the fight. Then, during the post fight interview, Darchinyan was uncharacteristically generous, as he complimented Arce for his toughness, even remarking that Arce had landed some good shots. His swollen face confirmed that to be true. Clearly he would’ve preferred to win by outright knockout, but said he was happy with his performance. This was a great fight, one sided as it was. I applaud Vic Darchinyan for a disciplined performance against a hated rival and his refined attitude after the fight. It was refreshing to see all that ‘hatred’ disappear after 12 rounds.

What’s next for Darchinyan? Seems that there’ll be no rematch with Nonito Donaire, who knocked Vic out in 2007. Seems that Vic’s promoter has a beef with Donaire and since it’s the promoters who decide who fights who, that rematch is off the table—for now. I would like to see him fight the only other guy in his division with a major title: Fernando Montiel, the WBO Super Flyweight titlist. Montiel is a slick boxer with sneaky power. The winner of that fight would produce an undisputed, unified Champion, as the winner would walk away with all four of the major alphabet belts. Other options include Vic moving to 118 for fights with Gerry Penalosa, Anselmo Moreno, Hozumi Hasawaga and the rest of that barely known Bantamweight crew or go for the big time fights at 122, the land of Celestino Caballero, Israel Vazquez, Rafael Marquez, Daniel Ponce De Leon, Ricardo Cordoba and some other bangers at Super Bantamweight.

For now, congratulations to Vic Darchinyan for a great win and to Jorge Arce for a great show of heart in what had to be the toughest fight of his career.

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