Vic Darchinyan Dominates Yonnhy Perez To Earn Bantamweight Tournament Win

April 24, 2011

Los Angeles -- Vic Darchinyan’s still got it.

The 35-year-old Darchinyan looked fresh and sharp in earning an easy 5th round technical decision victory Saturday night over the outclassed Yohnny Perez in Showtime’s Bantamweight Tournament at the Nokia Theatre.

Darchinyan displayed blazing combinations in Round One, winning the round and setting the tone for the rest of the fight. In Round Two, a little Darchinyan uppercut on the inside sent Perez to the canvas -- a blow from which Perez would never really recover.

Darchinyan’s assault slowed down in Rounds Three and Four, but he was still aggressive enough to bag both rounds.

In Round Five, an unlikely clash of heads spelled the end of the fight, as the ringside doctor ruled at the 1:07 mark that Perez’s cut was serious and that he was unable to continue.  As a result, the fight went to the scorecards.

All three judges scored the fight 50-44 in favor of Darchinyan. The Daily Sports Herald also scored the fight similarly.

Darchinyan’s victory was an emotional one for the large Armenian contingent on hand because the date of April 24th marks the solemn anniversary of the beginning of the 1915 Armenian Holocaust.

That genocide involved a series of massacres which left approximately one million Ottoman Armenians dead in Eastern Anatolia, in what is today’s Turkey. Given the date Darchinyan chose to do battle, as well as the “1915” he had sewn on the front of his trunks, it was clear that he was fighting for more than just himself.

California’s Armenian sports fans have been looking for something positive recently, as many have felt slighted by the NBA in the past few months.

Across the street from the Nokia Theatre is the Staples Center, where Kobe Bryant and the NBA’s Lakers rule. Armenian fans in Glendale and across California have been angered at the Laker’s star for signing a promotional deal with Turkish Airlines in late 2010.

Many Armenians view the modern Turkish republic with suspicion and continue to demand official recognition for what happened to the Ottoman Armenians during the closing days of the Ottoman Empire. In fact, a few local Armenians have vowed never to support the Lakers again as long as they have Kobe Bryant.

But even without the historical April 24 tie-in, California’s loyal Armenian fan base has supported Darchinyan throughout his career -- a fact his promoter, Gary Shaw, knows very well.

It is no coincidence that Vic “The Raging Bull” Darchinyan has headlined fights in California for the last three years. Shaw never hesitates to describe Darchinyan as his “single most loyal fighter,” and believes California’s large Armenian population is a great fit for him.

Still, Shaw is also careful to promote Darchinyan as “The Pride of Russia” and “The Pride of Australia.” Indeed, the starry Australian flag can be seen alongside the orange, blue, and red Armenian standard at any Darchinyan fight.

With the win, Darchinyan becomes a logical choice to face the winner of the Abner Mares-Joseph Agbeko bout originally scheduled to headline Saturday's card. An injury to Joseph Agbeko forced that bout to be postponed, and thus, provided Darchinyan with the opportunity to make his case for a fight with the winner of Tournament final.

In the post fight press conference, Darchinyan made clear to this reporter that he is open to facing either man should the opportunity arise.

With the win, Darchinyan improved to 36-3-1, with 27 KO's.  Perez fell to 20-2-1 with 14 KO's with the loss.

By Joe Hammond
Contributing Writer for

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