Darchinyan Kicks Some Arce

February 8, 2009

Anaheim, CA -- Vic "The Raging Bull" Darchinyan successfully defended his three super flyweight title belts Saturday night, defeating a determined, yet outclassed Jorge Arce via an eleventh round technical knockout. The victory unquestionably solidifies Darchinyan's status as the man to beat at 115 pounds, and should give him greater consideration as one of the sport's pound-for-pound best boxers.

Meanwhile, Arce was game throughout, and gave a courageous effort despite being battered and bloodied. He later required a post-fight trip to the hospital to receive stitches.

Darchinyan's win was greeted with chants from his enthusiastic Armenian fans, who drowned out the large, pro-Arce Mexican portion of the crowd. The presence of both fighters' supporters created a vibrant, energy-filled atmosphere inside the arena.

Here is how TheDailySportsHerald.com scored the fight:

Round One

Darchinyan began the fight at a controlled pace, wisely circling and looking to catch Arce with countershots coming in. At the midpoint of the round, he cracked Arce with a nice counter left. With about :30 seconds to go in the Round, Darchinyan then landed a pair of big left hands that appeared to briefly have Arce on unsteady legs.
10-9, Darchinyan.

Round Two

Darchinyan assumed the role of a hunter, stalking Arce as he circled around the ring. Darchinyan again landed the best blows of the round, stunning Arce with a nice flurry, and later unloading on the Mexican challenger in the corner.
10-9, Darchinyan.

Round Three

Both fighters seemed to find their rhythm and trade shots. Arce began to time Darchinyan's awkward attacks coming in, managing to rake Darchinyan with a few short lefts inside. A late rally for Arce allowed him to steal the round.
10-9, Arce.

Round Four

Perhaps emboldened by his moderate success in the previous round, Arce was able to offset any momentum Darchinyan may have built early by countering Darchinyan with the right hand. Darchinyan flurried late, but the fairly close round goes to Arce.
10-9, Arce.

Round Five

Darchinyan got back on track and controlled the round, breaking through Arce's guard to land a pair of good uppercuts.
10-9, Darchinyan.

Round Six

Arce focused more on the body attack, but paid for it by eating a few Darchinyan left hands. Blood began flowing from a cut on Arce's head.
10-9, Darchinyan.

Round Seven

Arce came out even more aggressive, but was effectively countered by Darchinyan's big left-right combinations. Arce's face-first, lunging attacks presented an easy target for the champion.
10-9, Darchinyan.

Round Eight

Darchinyan took most of the round off, content to potshot Arce with hooks and uppercuts. Arce failed to capitalize on Darchinyan's relative inactivity, throwing little in retaliation.
10-9, Darchinyan.

Round Nine

Arce absorbed some tremendous shots from the surprisingly accurate and still heavy-handed Darchinyan. At the end of the round, Arce trudged wearily back to his corner, bleeding from several cuts.
10-9, Darchinyan.

Round Ten

Darchinyan repeatedly snapped Arce's head back with his right jab. The champ then absolutely rocked Arce with a huge left hand midway through the round.
10-9, Darchinyan.

Round Eleven

Darchinyan stalked Arce around the ring, landing heavy blows. Arce appeared frustrated, and twice tried to complain to referee Lou Moret that Darchinyan was either landing rabbit punches or leading with his head. Darchinyan then battered Arce with big looping left hands from the outside, and uppercuts and short hooks on the inside. Arce legs were unsteady when the bell sounded.
10-9, Darchinyan.

After the 11th round, the ringside doctor elected to stop the fight.

All three judges had identical 109-100 scores at the time the bout was halted. Darchinyan was ahead 108-101 (nine rounds to two) on the DailySportsHerald.com's scorecard at the time of the stoppage.


Darchinyan is one of the truly dynamic fighters in the sport today, regardless of weight class. He is that rare, thoughtful, honest, and colorful character who entertains both inside the ring and out, and because of that personality, he deserves a big money fight.

Despite the presence of WBO titlist Fernando Montiel within his division, Darchinyan will have to campaign at a higher division if he hopes of cashing in on the biggest fights out there. Possible opponents include Juan Manuel Lopez, Rafael Marquez, or Israel Vazquez at 122 pounds.

For Arce, we saw another proud and courageous performance from a true warrior. But what we did not see from this veteran was any sort of ring generalship. Throughout the fight, Arce inexplicably circled to his right, directly into Darchinyan's lefty power shots. This strategy was even more questionable considering that Arce's best offensive weapon was his left hook to the body.

Here's hoping that we haven't seen the last of Travieso, who, although clearly outclassed on this night, certainly did his best to give the fans a good show.

Darchinyan's Post-Fight Comments

1. Darchinyan summed up his thoughts on his performance:

"I kept my promise (to punish Arce)."

2. When asked what enabled him to catch Arce repeatedly so many times with the same shot:

"In the middle rounds I was waiting for uppercuts. He was slow, sometimes I was waiting too long. When I near the end of rounds I started to pick it up. Every moment I was catching him with straight (shots) and left uppercuts I picked it up."

3. When asked if he thought Arce deserved credit for standing in with him for 11 rounds:

"Yes of course. I get him couple time with big uppercuts, and I saw he was very badly hurt and I follow him, I couldn't finish I couldn't stop him and congratulations, he did good, stood up with big punches, and was still coming at me with different punches. Tough guy."

4. When asked if he was ever hurt or any real danger of being hurt:

"He has a good punch, but I know sometimes he's catching me with punches the crowd was screaming 'Oh Yeah!' But he's not bothering me. I didn't hurt."

5. On weighing his options between staying at 115 pounds versus the prospect of moving up in weight and possibly fighting Israel Vazquez:

"I heard Israel Vazquez moving up, I want to go, I dont want to jump three weight division up, I want to go slowly, slowly. Israel Vazquez would like to fight me, I would love to fight him. I'm not saying I want to fight him, because I can knock him out, because we already did some sparring sessions together, and I know he's great puncher, top fighter, and its gonna be very exciting fights. That's why I want to see what we can do with 8 ounce gloves."

6. Gary Shaw had the following to say regarding whats next for Darchinyan:

"Number one, we're not fighting Donaire. He [Darchinyan] wants to fight Donaire, but as long as I have promotional rights, we'll never fight Donaire. I don't beleive in rewarding disloyal, dishonest fighters, and giving them the opportunity to win all these belts.

So, we have a lot of different opportunities. We have the opportunity to get the WBO belt at 115. We have the opportunity to fight two fighters that will fight us in Montiel and Mbeko. Two fine, two fine good fighters. Vic honestly keeps talking about fighting Israel or Rafael Marquez."

Bob Arum's Comments

After the fight, promoter Bob Arum was gracious enough to speak with us, and offered some very interesting observations:

1. On Arce's inability to get out of the way of Darchinyan's left-handed bombs:

"It would help if Arce would have trained with somebody like Freddie Roach, who could teach him how to fight a southpaw. Because Arce's a very good fighter, a very gutty guy, but he obviously just can't fight a southpaw, because nobody's taught him."

2. When asked if he was surprised by the outcome:

"No. I thought Arce fought a very good fight, but somebody's got to teach him how to fight a lefty. Same thing happened with Mijares. Just give Freddie Roach two months with the guy, you'll see a different guy when he fights a lefty."

3. On referee Dr. Lou Moret's performance:

"I do complain about the referee, I just thought he lost control of the fight and I thought it was clear it was a butt in the last round. If it's a butt, you go to the scorecards, Darchinyan wins on points, its not a TKO. But it's just indicative of... it didn't matter in this fight, but there are other fights where it might matter. And they [CA State Athletic Commission] really should get themselves some more young referees."

4. On his concerns for Arce taking two many big left hands:

"If he fights Darchinyan, recognizing that he's a left-hander, the result is different, but you have got to teach him. He didn't do that with Mijares, and he didn't it here. I think he's a gutty guy, considering he had no clue how to fight a left-hander, I think he did well just to stay in there."

5. On whether or not an unfair bias still exists towards top fighters in the lower-weight classes:

"I grew up, and came into the business in an era where you couldn't get a featherweight on television. The networks would not put anybody on television that was smaller than a lightweight. So, you have got to be grateful that once in a while, you get the smaller guys on... I mean, the idea that you would get flyweights on television, 30 or 40 years ago, they would have taken you to the loony bin. They only place they fought was in the Olympics."

6. On his thoughts on the event overall:

"I thought Darchinyan was certainly much better. [Arce] was very courageous. He stood in there, it was an enjoyable fight for the fans. So yeah, to that extent I'm pleased.

But I'm really concerned, particularly when you have these smaller, quick fighters having these old-time referees. Lou Moret at one time, was a great referee, but he's not any longer. He'd probably be a good judge. He's too damn slow to referee a fight with these fast little guys.

I think in Vegas, they realize. They get a fight like this, they'll put a guy like Kenny Bayless, who is very quick on his feet. That's what you gotta do! In Vegas, they have got a lot of young guys that have come on, like Tony Weekes. They've got enough good young referees -- Russell Moore is another one.

You know, Marty Denkin who was sitting at ringside, he was a judge. At one point he was a great referee, now he's a judge. I mean you shouldn't throw away their experience!"

7. On whether the problem was serious enough that he would be taking it up with the Commission:

"No. These commisions don't listen!! I mean, if you guys write it, maybe they'll listen. Otherwise they don't care! I mean, how many commissioners were at the fight tonight?

"But at the Staples Center, when Schwarzenegger was there, every single one of them was there, so it's clear where there priorities are."

8. When asked if he was pleased with the announced attendance of 5,450:

"Yeah I thought it was very good. I thought that considering it was on Showtime live, and just under 6,000 came out, I thought it was pretty good. And, certainly, the crowd was loud, and very good, I think they do a good job of putting on fights here."

9. On the possibility of a rematch:

"I don't know, all these little guys should fight each other. They make for exciting fights. Arce could have won three rounds, two or three rounds. I mean the scoring was clear. But, again, let me tell you, put Arce with Freddie Roach for two months, and you'll see a different fight."

10. When asked if he had had that conversation with Arce at all, prior to the fight Arum playfully responded:

"They don't listen -- they're Mexicans!"

(When one Mexican journalist took exception to this, Arum expounded)

"No, its the truth -- Mexicans get trained by Mexicans. You know what I mean, they have very big pride, Nationalistic pride, and there is nothing wrong with that. And therefore, if there was some trainer, like if Don Jesus was still training, then yeah, he could do it. But most of these guys haven't got a clue anymore.

There are very few GOOD trainers in the country. The guy who was with Mosley, [Nazeem] Richardson, that's a GOOD trainer. The guy knows. But there are maybe a handful, on one hand you can count the real trainers, Kenny Adams is one. You're damn right Freddie Roach is. Freddie is number one in my book."

11. When asked if Arce is still a marketable fighter:

"Arce is still an attraction. Look, if the UFC has taught us ANYTHING it is: when you lose, it is not a death now. They recycle the guys, they recycle the guys, there is some that are popular, people will come see them. Believe me, Margarito fights again, Arce fights again. Their fans will come out and see them, because they know they give 100% the fact that they lost is irrelevant. Yeah, you'd rather they won, sure but the fact that they lost, is not that significant.

People have to put that in their head. Just go back to the 50's and the 60's -- guys used to fight, and they used to win (some)and they would lose (some)... Look, Robinson and LaMotta fought FIVE TIMES, LaMotta won ONCE, but every one of the fights was an attraction.

I mean, there's no disgrace in losing, if, IF you give 100%. If the kid doesn't give 100% then, well then.... Look for example, if Margarito had quit on his stool, and not come out for that last round when the result was pretty inevitable, then, his popularity would certainly have been diminished, just the way Mr. De La Hoya's is. (chuckles) A Mexican is not supposed to quit on his stool."

Arce's Post-Fight Comments

1. "I came to fight, it was only one round left, I wanted to continue fighting, I don't know why they stopped the fight. I am a puncher, I always have a puncher's chance at the end. I came to fight... I was following him the whole fight."

2. "There is no excuses. I told you guys before that I was not going to put any excuses, and there's no excuses. He's a good fighter, I think that it was a very competitive fight. I think I hurt him a couple of times with body punches. I always felt that I had a chance to win the fight."

3. "I gave the best of me. Of course I would like a rematch, I don't like fights to end this way. But if not, I would like to thank my company Top Rank, I would like to thank Gary Shaw for the opportunity, and thank you all for being here."

The Undercard

Also on the Darchinyan-Arce card, top 135-pound prospect Anthony DeMarco defeated Almazbek "Kid Diamond" Raimulov by 9th round TKO when Kid Diamond couldn't continue due to a broken nose. With the win, the 23 year-old DeMarco became the NABO lightweight title-holder, and improved his career record to 21-1-1.

DeMarco and Raimulov didn't dissapoint, as they provided fans with an all-action fight. Although an accidental clash of heads in the first round opened up a cut over Raimulov's right eye, he fought on mostly even terms, using good head and upper body movement to nullify DeMarco's offense, and going blow-for-blow through the first four rounds.

However, DeMarco was able to stun the over-aggressive Kid Diamond with a perfectly-timed straight counter-left in the fifth round. Despite the setback, Kid Diamond came out even more aggressively in the sixth, using good head movement, and a nice jab to carry the round.

In the eighth and ninth rounds, DeMarco was able to use his pinpoint accuracy to wear down the game former Olympian. Eventually, Kid Diamond's corner would elect to stop the fight.

Hopefully the rest of 2009 will provide us more opportunity to follow young DeMarco's career. For his part, Kid Diamond fought well, and considering that his loss on Saturday was only the second of his career (the first coming to lightweight kingpin Nate Campbell), he definitely shouldn't be relegated to "gatekeeper" status just yet.

At the time of the stoppage, Judges Ray Corona and Jose Cobian had the bout scored 88-83 for DeMarco, while third judge David Denkin had it 85-86. TheDailySportsHerald.com's scorecard had the bout even at 86-86 (four rounds apiece, one round scored even) after nine rounds.

Also on the undercard, highly touted 154-pound prospect Vanes Martirosyan of Glendale, California, improved to 23-0, with a closer-than-expected unanimous decision over Ohio's Billy Lyell. The win did come at a price however, as Martirosyan suffered a broken left hand, and will now have to face a period of inactivity while it heals.

By Kweku Turkson
Staff Reporter for TheDailySportsHerald.com

Photographs by Tri Le
Staff Photographer for TheDailySportsHerald.com

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