Gorres versus Darchinyan – In Retrospect

Z GorreCarlo Pamintuan: It was supposed to be a great stylistic match-up. The technical boxer fighting in his hometown against the proud foreign puncher trying to prove he still has it in him. It was billed to be a good night of boxing because there was so much at stake. Z Gorres, the boxer, was coming of a big win against former world champion Eric Ortiz and his opponent, Vic Darchinyan, was also coming off a win against Federico Catubay. Both of them, however, have lost their last championship fights. Gorres lost a close split decision against Fernando Montiel and Darchinyan was knocked out by Nonito Donaire.

This fight was to decide who deserves a shot at the championship held by Dimitri Kirilov. Is it the former champion trying to regain lost glory or is it the young contender who failed short in his first shot at the title? Before the fight Darchinyan promised to put the Dream to sleep while Gorres said he will tame the Raging Bull. Well, sad to say, the fight provided more questions than answers.

In the very first round of the fight, the two fighters had their feet tangled and, as a result, Gorres lost his balance and fell to the canvass. It was a clear slip as no punch landed before Gorres fell but referee Lance Revill opted to call it as a knockdown. This prompted the fans at ringside to throw all sorts of stuff to the ring. In round 2, Gorres decked Darchinyan with a counter right hook that dropped Darchinyan and evened things up. Gorres went down in the 5th round. It was more of a knockdown than that in the 1st round but this time Revill chose to rule it as a slip.

In the 6th round, a headbutt opened up a nasty gash on Gorres’ head but the referee failed to note it as such. He also failed to stop the action and make the ringside physician check the cut. After that round, it seemed that Gorres’ legs were starting to buckle and it was in this time that Darchinyan’s punches were starting to connect. Darchinyan floored Gorres again in the 9th round. Gorres looked visibly tired from that point on as he would fall down about half a dozen times more after that round. Some of those could have been knockdowns but they were all ruled as slips by the referee.

Darchinyan took most of the rounds in the second half of the fight. Even the commentators were saying that it will be a loss for Gorres and that the Filipino fighter was just hoping for a hometown decision when he raised his arms after the fight. In the end, the Filipino judge scored it for Darchinyan, the Thai judge had it for Gorres, and the Australian judge had it as a draw. This writer scored it 114-111 for Darchinyan.

First of all, it was really uncommon for the hometown judge to be the only one not to score it for the hometown boy. Therefore, credit must be given to the Filipino judge for scoring the fight the way he did. The question is were that Thai and Australian judges elbowed to score that way? We could only speculate.

This writer thinks that it was Gorres fight to lose. He knew fairly well what Darchinyan brought to the table. Darchinyan will charge forward with his awkward style and that is pretty much everything he could offer. He is very strong but he does not have that many combinations in his arsenal. Darchinyan was doing the same thing throughout the fight but Gorres failed to adjust accordingly.

In my opinion, the best thing that happened for Darchinyan in this fight was the knockdown he suffered in round 2. Here’s why. Gorres is not known as a strong puncher. In fact, most his KO’s come from the accumulation of punches but when he dropped Darchinyan, he decided to outpunch Darchinyan instead of outboxing him. He deviated from his plans to bob and weave, throw a quick one-two and move side to side. In fact, even Donaire, who was at ringside, kept on saying that Gorres should move to his side rather than straight back. In short, he fought Darchinyan’s battle. This caused him to lose wind in the last stretch of the match. In my opinion, if Gorres chose to stick it out with the initial plan, he would not have lost steam in the late rounds because that was what he trained for. I think his mistake was expending too much energy in trying to wrestle with his opponent.

After all draws, the initial reaction is for a rematch. Gary Shaw already said that he will never make Darchinyan fight in the Philippines again while the promoters from the Philippines say that they are not to blame because only the Filipino judge scored it for Darchinyan. In the end only one thing is certain. They should have chosen a better referee. With it comes to the rematch, I’ll watch it if they decide to make it happen. But will I add it to my list of fights that should be made this year? Not a chance.

Article posted on 04.02.2008

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