There was a time when Vic Darchinyan was the most feared fighter in his division. There was a time when Vic Darchinyan could gore and bully his way against anybody who dared to step into his path. There was a time when Vic Darchinyan was invincible in the eyes of many boxing observers. Yes, there was a time when Vic Darchinyan, the Raging Bull from Armenia fighting out of Australia was on top of the boxing world…
Up until he came across the nightmare that is Nonito Donaire, Jr., and his myth of invincibility went pfft. And with a single blow from Donaire’s wicked left hook to the chin, Vic Darchinyan’s world crumbled to the ground and he was never the same again.
After that first blot on his once-unblemished career, Vic Darchinyan embarked on a rollercoaster ride: eking out a draw against Z Gorres; bombing his way through Dmitri Kirilov, Christian Mijares and Jorge Arce; stumbling against Joseph Agbeko and Abner Mares; rebounding against Yonnhy Perez and then dropping consecutive losses to Anselmo Moreno and Shinsuke Yamanaka.
At 36, Vic Darchinyan, who once held at one time or another every major championship belt in boxing’s alphabet soup in every division that he fought in, is obviously at the tail-end of his career. But Vic Darchinyan is a proud man, more so a very proud fighter. His pride and desire to win is the fire that fuels his drive to fight whoever and whenever the boxing gods bring him.
And so, it was on Saturday night that he brought his wares to the Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, Connecticut for the HBO Boxing After Dark fight card against a young and undefeated prospect in Luis Del Valle in a 10-round bout (the first time Darchinyan has appeared in a 10-rounder in 10 years) for the ‘lowly’ NABF super bantamweight crown.
Vic Darchinyan, who used to headline his fights, but had to play second fiddle to the Edwin Rodriguez-Jason Escalera main event this time around, did not mind the demotion. All Vic Darchinyan was concerned about was to give a good account of himself inside the ring as well as show that he still has the goods to be a player in his division.
Right after the opening bell as his wont and amid the chants of his fans and supporters, Vic Darchinyan immediately initiates contact. He attacks and probes Luis Del Valle’s defenses. The two fighters exchanged power punches, testing each others will and chin.
The partisan crowd chanted Dar-chin-yan! Dar-chin-yan! as they applauded their fighter, unorthodox and herky-jerky and trying to bully his way against the young Luis Del Valle.
Luis Del Valle, a brave young lion, stood his ground and tried to engage Vic Darchinyan punch for punch, power for power and grit for grit. But as the fight went on, it was obvious that the young fighter’s will was no match for the veteran’s aggression.
Vic Darchinyan used every trick in the book to daze and confuse his young inexperienced opponent. He bulldozed and rushed his way, pushing and smothering his opponent as he pummeled him with power shot after power shot. He would hug and clinch his way out of trouble on a few times that Del Valle’s punches found its mark.
Vic Darchinyan descended on Luis Del Valle with mean intentions, throwing bombs along the way. But Luis Del Valle showed his big heart and strong will. His chin took all that Darchinyan could give and dished out his own brand of damage.
In rounds 4 and 5, Vic Darchinyan started to wither his game opponent as Del Valle elected to engage him in a brawl. Vic Darchinyan, by this time, was landing his big left upstairs.
In round 6, Vic Darchinyan gave Luis Del Valle lessons in pro boxing, old dirty tricks and all: leading with his heads, elbows, forearms, etc. The rough-house tactics took their toll on Luis Del Valle, and he has the marks and cuts to show for it — a cut on the bridge of the nose as well as a gash on the chin.
The brutal beating continued in rounds 7 and 8 as Luis Del Valle traded with Vic Darchinyan, but the Armenian was beating him to the punch and landing at will. But Luis Del Valle is a young warrior and so full of heart; he would come back albeit landing one hard shot at a time while receiving several hard shots in the exchanges.
In the last 60 seconds of the fight, he landed a right hand on Darchinyan that made him backtrack a bit and momentarily halted the attacks. However, Vic Darchinyan came back and retaliated with hard shots of his own up until the end of the round.
The last two rounds were an exhibit of ‘how to take everything on the chin,’ literally and figuratively speaking. Despite at the receiving end of vicious punches, you can never count Luis Del Valle out though, a young and determined fighter with power in both hands who is always dangerous at any time in any round in a fight.
The 9th round looked one-sided in favor of Vic Darchinyan, looking more like the Raging Bull of old; he is administering a good old fashioned beating on his opponent when Luis Del Valle’s left hook snuck and found its mark on Darchinyan’s face, visibly rocking him and stopping him in his tracks. Luis Del Valle tried to move in for the kill but Vic Darchinyan fought back while eluding his attacker’s assaults and survived the round.
Vic Darchinyan may be dominating and menacing in the ring but his style also makes him vulnerable; thus, there is always drama in his fights. And most fight fans love these kinds of drama.
Vic Darchinyan came back strong in the 10th and final round to seal the win. The judges gave Vic Darchinyan a unanimous decision winning by 99-91, 99-91, 96-94 on all scorecards. Vic Darchinyan landed a high 54% 205/381 of his powershots to Luis Del Valle’s anemic 25% 129/524. Luis Del Valle threw more punches 577 to 552 but Vic Darchinyan landed more 227 to 132, a 41% to 23% statistical edge.
Vic Darchinyan traveled to Connecticut and may have gotten himself an ‘insignificant’ piece of hardware if we put into account where he was coming from. But to Vic Darchinyan, it does not really matter whether the price is big or small, because all he wants to do is fight.
Yes, the Raging Bull showed that there is still a lot of fight left in him, and Vic Darchinyan wants to have more fights in the future and it will not hurt boxing if we give him more chances to fight.
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