Sharkie’s Machine: Darchinyan Destroys Mijares

darchinyan02.11.08 - By Frank Gonzalez Jr., photo by Tom Casino - Showtime -- Saturday in Carson California, IBF Super Flyweight titlist Vic Darchinyan (31-1-1, 25 KO’s) knocked out former WBA/WBC titlist Christian Mijares (36-4-2, 14 KO’s) in the ninth round with a powerful, straight left that saw Mijares downed and out.

This victory rendered Darchinyan the possessor of three of the four major title belts in the 115 pound division. Darchinyan is now one belt away from being the only man in boxing to possess all four major titles. That would make him, “The Undisputable Champion” of the Super Flyweight division. It would also make him the ONLY unified Champion in boxing..

The guy who tentatively owns the last piece of the titles is Fernando Montiel, the WBO titlist. Montiel fights today in Mexico, so if he wins over Juan Alberto Rojas, he should be available for a fight with Darchinyan in the next few months.

The Darchinyan vs. Mijares fight could easily have been billed as boxer vs. brawler but the boxer (Mijares) seemed to forget his role and was never able to control the tempo or do much of anything in this fight. The brawler turned out to be the better boxer, as Vic Darchinyan showed some significant improvements in his technique and issued a beat down to the man who until this fight, had won 25 straight.

Whether you like him or not, Darchinyan is always exciting to watch because he is a guy don’t just come to out-box his opponents, he comes to destroy his opponents. And now that he’s fighting a better caliber of fighters, he’s proving to be even more exciting.

During the stare down, Mijares smiled at Darchinyan like an adult getting ready to take candy from a baby. Darchinyan eyes looked menacingly into Mijares’ as if to say, “I’m going to punch that smile right off your face.” It was an intense stare down and the first round was a microcosm of who won the mental part of the contest.

The first round saw Christian Mijares try to box outside and gauge Darchinyan, while waiting for him to come in so he could counter punch. Darchinyan did come in and was throwing bazooka like punches; some that slipped passed Mijares’ guard. From the onset, Darchinyan was dictating the pace. Mijares didn’t expect Vic to be so damn quick. Darchinyan landed more often and near the end of the first round, he caught Mijares with a left uppercut that put him down hard. Darchinyan yelled for Mijares to get up. Mijares beat the count and with about ten seconds to go, survived the round.

With Darchinyan’s improved his boxing skills came better ways to deliver his power. Mijares’ boxing skills seemed invisible in this fight where he rarely use his jab to set anything up. This time, it was Darchinyan, who appeared to have the superior boxing skills against a guy who’s known for being a great boxer. Go figure?

With the combination of his brawling style and better boxing skills, Darchinyan threw straighter punches, jabbed and threw combinations to win round after round. Though at times Darchinyan was open, Mijares was so removed from his typical modus operandi and focused on defense that he didn’t capitalize when he should have. Darchinyan got into his head and quite frankly, I thought Mijares was a bit afraid to trade with Darchinyan after tasting his power in the first round.

Darchinyan put on his most impressive performance to date. Vic fought a clean fight, conserved his energy in the later rounds and in every facet, he dominated Christian Mijares.

Now Darchinyan is positioned to take part in a true Unification match, if the “powers that be” would only allow it. As mentioned above, the likely opponent would be Fernando Montiel (37-2-1, 28 KO’s), the WBO titlist. Montiel is a very slick boxer with sneaky power. Should he win his bout against Juan Alberto Rojas on Sunday in Mexico, he should be available to fight Darchinyan anytime after February 2009. If Rojas wins, chances are he’ll fight a soft, safe fight next before entertaining any other offers. That's the way it is in a sport with no legitimate structure.

If Montiel wins, he should call out Darchinyan immediately because the opportunity is there for either of these guys to become the only (completely unified) Champion in boxing. There are no “unified” champions in any division in boxing today. All the belt holders are really just contenders until they unify the titles and become the ONE Champion. Anyone who wins all four of the major titles (WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO) would be the real champion of their division. That’s the way it should be.

Instead of titlists having to fight mandatory matches against politically selected contenders of questionable standing, the titlists should be mandated to fight the other titlists until there is just ONE Champion in each division. That would make boxing more competitive and—more honest.

The thing that will prevent a true Championship fight from happening would be sanctioning body politics. It’s more profitable to have four guys paying sanctioning fees instead of just one true champion doing so. In a perfect world, we’d scrap all of the sanctioning bodies and have only ONE true champion per division. There is no other sport with four champions. All other sports have playoffs to determine exactly who ‘the best of the best’ really is. Boxing would do well to do the same. Imagine if there were four World Series Champions? Think how ridiculous it is to have four champions in the same division in boxing.

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Article posted on 02.11.2008

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