TALE OF TWO FIGHTERS: CRISTIAN MIJARES VS VIC DARCHINYAN
By Anthony Cocks

Doghouse Boxing
http://www.doghouseboxing.com/DHB/DHCocks10 3008.htm
Oct 30 2008
Canada

It's a well worn boxing cliché that styles make fights, but outside
of the ring Cristian Mijares and Vic Darchinyan couldn't be more
diametrically opposed.

Mijares, the 27-year-old WBC and WBA super flyweight champion
hailing from Gomez Palacio, Durango in Mexico, is quietly confident
of retaining his titles and adding Darchinyan's IBF hardware to his
trophy case when the two meet at the Home Depot Center in Carson,
California this Saturday night.

"My preparation in Gomez Palacio was top-notch, perfect," Mijares
said this week. "I have done all the hard work in camp and I can't
wait to shut Darchinyan up. I've been hearing that he thinks I'm
overrated. Not only is he mistaken but he will be overly surprised
with what I will do with him at the Home Depot Center."

Darchinyan meanwhile has continued to exude his natural blend
confidence and cockiness in the week leading up to the fight.

"He is a very good fighter, but when he feels my punches he will
feel different. He's fought some tough guys, but no one like me,"
said Darchinyan. "I know when I'm talking that I will deliver. I'm
going to be too much for him. He's overrated."

It is this brashness of 32-year-old Armenian-born Australian that has
both endeared fans to him and alienated other from him. Darchinyan's
critics point to his aggressive, stalking style and claim he is
a one-dimensional knockout artist who never enters the ring with a
plan B. Fans of the diminutive power puncher point to his heavy hands
and take-no-prisoners approach as the definition of an entertaining
prize fighter.

Despite his boasts, it's fair to say that Darchinyan has faced no-one
like Mijares either. The slick-boxing Mexican southpaw announced
himself to the boxing world in April 2007 when he comprehensively
outboxed aggressive and popular veteran Jorge Arce for the WBC super
featherweight title. Since that signature win Mijares has been on an
impressive run, defending his world title five times and picking up
Alexander Munoz's WBA strap along the way.

"I didn't have to take this fight but I'm so glad I did," said
Darchinyan of the challenge that awaits him this weekend. "I will
knock him out, there's no question about it. I will come not just to
win. I will knock him out."

Darchinyan's fall from grace last year was as swift as it was
brutal. In a surprisingly close fight at the Harbour Yard Arena in
Bridgeport, Connecticut on July 7, unheralded Filipino Nonito Donaire
scored the biggest win of his career with a one-punch 5th round TKO of
Darchinyan that left the fans in attendance stunned. A razor-sharp left
hook from the rangy technician caught the forward-charging Darchinyan
right on the point of the chin, snapping his head around and laying
out the formerly undefeated titleholder flat on his back. As he
struggled to rise before referee Eddie Claudio reached the count of
ten, Darchinyan pitched face-first into canvas in a valiant attempt
to get to his feet. Through sheer will alone Darchinyan was able to
momentarily regain his footing, but his scrambled neurological senses
sent him staggering drunkenly into the ropes, forcing Claudio to halt
the bout at 1:38.

The unexpected result earned Donaire both The Ring magazine's Knockout
of the Year and Upset of the Year awards.

The manner in which Darchinyan dealt with the loss immediately after
the bout served to further alienate fans already critical of his
enduring sense of self-belief.

"I feel good. I don't know what to say. I would like to fight again. I
don't feel I was hurt. Maybe knocked down, but I don't feel I was
hurt," Darchinyan told Showtime's disbelieving Jim Gray in the ring
after the fight.

Since the loss Darchinyan moved up in weight to 115 pounds and
rebounded with a 12th round TKO of journeyman Federico Catubay in
October of last year, followed by a controversial twelve round draw
in an IBF eliminator against Z Gorres in the Filipino's backyard in
February. Despite the unsatisfactory result, the IBF sanctioned a
shot at their reigning champion Dimitri Kirilov.

In a frighteningly one-sided bout Darchinyan put a beating on the
defending titleholder, seemingly hurting Kirilov with every punch he
landed before dropping the Russian twice and stopping him at 1:05 of
the 5th.

But Mijares presents an entirely different set of problems.

"Darchinyan is talking too much because he's scared of me. Jorge
Arce talked a lot of trash too and I shut him up. I'll do the same
with Darchinyan," said Mijares in the lead up to the fight."Everyone
knows I'm the smarter fighter. I learn new things all the time. From
what I've seen, Darchinyan doesn't grow from fight to fight. What you
see is what you get. He's predictable."Some people are saying that
this fight could turn into an epic series like the Vazquez-Marquez
trilogy. Those fights were extremely close. I don't see my fight with
Darchinyan being close. I expect to win by a comfortable margin."

For his part Darchinyan is unfazed by fighting a fellow southpaw
who has the footwork and handspeed to cause him all sorts of
difficulties."I've fought southpaws before. It's no different for me,"
said Darchinyan. "I'm going to do some boxing. You're going to see
how fast and smart I am on Saturday. I'm going to put on a show for
my Armenian fans at The Home Depot Center. I'm very confident and
ready for this fight. I'm ready to fight anyone.

"I think I am the best fighter he has ever, and will ever, fight. His
style is an amateur style. I will deliver. I want to become the
undisputed world champion after this fight.

"On Saturday, you're going to see a different Vic Darchinyan. I won't
try to take him out with just one punch. You're going to see a much
smarter Vic on Saturday night.

"Mijares is a very good fighter, but that's OK when you fight someone
that doesn't have the power that I have. He's fought guys that don't
have my power.

"The only fight I wanted was Mijares. I want to fight who everyone
thinks is the best so I can prove that I'm the best."

Regardless of the end result, you have got to admire both boxers for
their willingness to fight the best - win, lose or draw.

AFTER THE BELL

Fight fans in Melbourne, Australia can now watch all international
and domestic pay-per-view fights live at the refurbished Sports Bar
at the Bush Inn Hotel on the corner of Malvern and Williams Roads in
Toorak, starting with this Sunday's Cristian Mijares vs Vic Darchinyan
main event. The telecast will kick off at 12 midday with a super
middleweight showdown between slick American southpaw Andre Dirrell,
16-0 (11), and hard-hitting Australian-based Russian Victor Oganov,
28-1 (28). With a drop-down screen, full TAB facilities, pool tables,
bistro meals and of course cold beer, there are worse places to spend
a lazy Sunday arvo after ditching church.

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