Vic Darchinyan - Jorge Arce - 2009's First Great Fight?

Jorge Arceby James Slater - There are a number of potentially thrilling fights already well on the way to being made for 2009. With Ricky Hatton-Manny Pacquiao all but a done deal and Vitali Klitschko-David Haye also scheduled, along with other mouth-watering bouts such as Antonio Margarito-Miguel Cotto II and Juan Manuel Marquez-Juan Diaz also to look forward to, next year will have no shortage of big fights.

However, one fight, set for February 7th in California, is a fight that could possibly prove to be the best of the lot. Super-flyweights Vic Darchinyan and Jorge Arce clash in what could well be the new year's first great action fight. These two simply do not like each other, and due to the bad blood, the combination of the two men's exciting styles, and the stakes involved, Feb 7th's showdown cannot fail to produce a fan-friendly fight.

Mexico's Arce, 51-4-1(39) is known for his come forward aggression and his take-chances approach to fighting. While "Raging Bull" Darchinyan, 31-1-1(25), the Armenian who now lives in Australia, is known for his awesome punching power. Put these two colourful fighters together, as Gary Shaw Productions and Bob Arum's Top Rank have, and you have a barnstormer of a fight.

32-year-old southpaw Darchinyan will be defending the IBF, WBA and WBC 115-pound world titles he unified last time out with a great stoppage win over Cristian Mijares, and 29-year-old Arce, who holds the interim version of the WBA super-flyweight title, will be looking to rip all three belts from the man whose skin he has already gotten under. Calling Darchinyan "a fraud" a while back, just after the southpaw lost to Nonito Donaire via 5th round KO down at flyweight, Arce angered the man who has now vowed to make him pay in February. Put it all together - the attitude and styles of the two warriors, the grudge element to the bout, and the importance of the fight - and this one has it all.

Both fighters are reasonably new to the 115-pound division. Darchinyan was the IBF 112-pound king from December of 2004 until he ran into Donaire in July of 2007. While Arce, a long-reigning WBC light-flyweight champ (2001 to 2004), relinquished his belt so as to move up to flyweight - where he picked up the interim version of the WBC crown (losing it on points to real champ Cristian Mijares). Since that April 2007 points loss, "Travieso" has fought as high as bantamweight, before dropping back down to super-fly. Arce has had more fights at 115-pounds than has Darchinyan - at six to four. Arce is also the slightly taller man.

But who will win?

Both guys have bean KO'd or stopped in the past, and as such an inside schedule ending may occur, one way or the other, when they meet. Darchinyan is by far the harder puncher, but Arce can bang to the body. Despite being the younger man by three years, Arce has had a longer, more draining career. A number of times in the past, writers and fans have said how the Mexican tough guy has looked to have been past his best. Also, when taking the two rival's results against similar opponent Mijares into account - Arce beaten clearly by Mijares, Darchinyan a KO winner over the Mexican - Feb 7th looks like a night for the Australian/Armenian.

Arce has won his last five, but look for the win streak to come to an end when he gets in there with a man who is pound-for-pound one of the hardest single punchers in the sport today. This writer goes for Darchinyan by KO, in an entertaining and at times wild fight, in around 7 or 8 rounds.

Article posted on 24.12.2008

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