|Darchinyan Keeps His Promise. Knocks Out Mijares in 9
By Gabriel Montoya at Ringside (Nov 2, 2008) DoghouseBoxing.com (Photo © German Villasenor)
In front of 3,076 hardcore fans, who braved waves of rain through out the night, Vic Darchinyan knocked out heavy favorite Christian Mijares at 3:00 of the 9th round to become the first unified super flyweight in boxing history. In the build-up to the fight, 26 of 32 writers predicted a Mijares win. In answer to that, Darchinyan, promised he would punish and knockout Mijares. And he made good on that in a fight that certainly lived up to and exceeded the hype.
"I have a fighter that talks a lot of shit," said promoter Gary Shaw afterward. "But he backs up that shit in the ring."
That Darchinyan did in brutal fashion.
The action started at a tense pace. Both men circling looking for an opening. Mijares, grinning slyly, got his jab going lightly. Just a range finder. Darchinyan, all awkward ferocity, seemed a little tight at first but what he was was coiled and ready. A hard left, his power punch, unleashed the first of many, many, many crosses. Mijares countered with a right but it was clear right off the bat that 1) Darchinyan was the stronger guy and 2) Mijares' was going to have to use something other than power to get the Armenian's respect.
A right-left by Darchinyan followed a the first of many left uppercuts that would penetrate Mijares' supposedly superior defense. What was supposed to be a boxing clinic put on by Mijares was quickly turning into a brawl benefiting the quicker, rougher, more stylistically puzzling Darchinyan. And then he lowered the boom on Mijares in the form of left upercut that dropped the Mexican fighter on his back. What was a nip/tuck round became 10-8 and Mijares rose on shaky legs to head to his corner.
From that point on until sometime in the later rounds, Mijares seemed tentative and a bit stationary. Eschewing lateral movement for upper body defense and counter right hooks. Darchinyan kept his aggression controlled, brutal, and pressure-filled as he strafed Mijares to the head and body with lefts, right, uppercuts, and digging body shots.
It was hard to even consider a Mijares round until the 6th, Mijares, down on all cards, came out with some urgency. Popping the jab and letting his hands go in combination. Digging to teh body, sliding to the side, and catching Darchinyan coming in, Mijares got a little momentum going. For a brief period, it seemed the tables were turning and Darchinyan was tiring. he was missing more and more and Mijares was getting to him more and more.
"Let me tell you something about my style,"Darchinyan told me afterward," I don't mind if I make a fighter miss. Sometimes, if I am missing, I am still doing something. I am setting punches up. If I miss up here (indicating head shots) it means I am setting up shits underneath."
It was evident as he began to land the uppercut that Mijares had adjusted to defending. This was Darchinyan's time and he let Mijares know that by answering back with hard left hands that came one at a time to the head and body.
Through to the 8th, Mijares seemed to get his footing back. But in that round, Darchinyan opened up more and more, willing himself to stay in control of the bout. Hard left to the head. Hard left to body. Mijares combination. One-two by Mijares Hard left miss and a right hook lands for Darchinyan. A hard left at th e bell for Darchinyan.
This wasn't the boxing lesson many had anticipated. This was better. Both men traded back and forth, looking for control. Chasing history.
In the fateful 9th round, Darchinyan stepped up his pressure and his output. He unleashed vicious left hands that sent Mijares into a defensive shell. Brutal shot after brutal shot, Darchinyan not only fought back for control, he seemed to be wilting Mijares all at once. A left seemed to stun Mijares and he moved backwards to the ropes to escape the onslauht. Darchinyan jumped all over him, missing, missing, landing and getting all of a left hand that sent Mijares crashing to the canvas flat on hi sback and nearly unconscious. Referee Dr. Lou Moret reached the ten count at 3:00 of the 9th.
In defeat, Mijares (35-4-2, 13 KOs) showed a champions heart. " Today I lost. No excuses. He's a great champion." At the post fight presser, Mijares gave it up to Darchinyan, raising his hand before the cameras and congratulating him.
Darchinyan, (31-1-1, 25 KOs), was also classy in winning. "Did I keep my promise?" he asked the assembled media, who silently ate crow. ""From the first round I didn't get stupid," Darchinyan said. "I promised to deliver a skillful, smart fight. I promised to destroy him and knock him out. And I did that.
"Each round I caught him with hard left hands. Thank God nothing happened to him like what happened to (Victor) Burgos, because he too took a lot of lefts."
As for his future, don't look for a rematch with Nonito Donaire who handed him his first loss. Donaire recently parted ways with promoter Gary Shaw, who still harbors a bit of ill-will for his former fighter.
When asked about a rematch, "Shaw replied, "I have a little dog that begs. That's what Nonito will have to do if he wants that rematch. No chance."
Darchinyan however appeared to want that fight as much as he wanted the Mijares bout.
"If [Donaire] gos all 12 rounds with me, he will retire. I'm going to punish him. I promise you that."
After tonight, I'll believe him when he makes a promise.
Gabriel at: Coyotefeather@gmail.com .
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