It’s safe to say Vic Darchinyan doesn’t lack confidence. Not now and not since he began his steady climb to the top that included being a two-division world champion.There is also the matter of Darchinyan’s mental makeup that won’t allow him to take a backward step in the ring.
Last Saturday night at the Nokia Theatre, the 35-year-old Darchinyan was nothing short of bullish as he stopped Yonnhy Perez in the fifth round of their vacant International Boxing Organization bantamweight title fight.
Darchinyan accidentally head-butted Perez, a Colombian early in the fifth round. The cut on Perez’s forehead, near his right eye was so bad and bloody that Dr. Paul Wallace halted the bout 1:07 into the stanza.
By California rule, if a head butt occurs after the fourth round, the judges decide the winner. In this case, all three had Darchinyan (36-3-1 with 27 knockouts) ahead by the same 50-44 score.
Darchinyan’s goal was to lay Perez out, which didn’t happen. Darchinyan fell short of that, but was still all over the 32-year-old with high-energy rights and lefts from the opening bell.
“I took big punches,” said Darchinyan. “I wanted to knock him out. He’s a great fighter.”
The furious attack was relentless and produced high moments for the Armenian native, who lives in Australia.
“My name is the Raging Bull,” said Darchinyan. “It’s good to get back to the brawling style. One more round and I would have knocked him out. He quit. The referee asked if he wanted to fight. He said no.”
Perez had no answer for Darchinyan’s will, desire and punching power. In fact, Perez’s lone and brief moment in the sun came in the third round when he landed a few decent shots.
Beyond this, there was simply nothing in Perez’s tank. “I’m truly disappointed the way the fight ended,” he said.
Darchinyan floored Perez (20-2-1 with 14 KO’s) in the second round with a short left hook, and what appeared to be a push, but ruled a knockdown. Not that it mattered because Darchinyan was in complete control. This was never more obvious than in the fourth round when he connected on at least seven solid punches to the head and body.
These blows exact a terrific toll and they did on Perez, who seemed listless and lacking an arsenal.
Afterward, Darchinyan was asked whom he’d prefer to face next. “I’d like to fight Abner Mares [Darchinyan lost a split decision last December] or Nonito Donaire,” he said. “I’d really like to fight Donaire.”
We’ll see if the stars align that way.