On July 7th, 2007, a scarcely known Filipino fighter named Nonito Donaire challenged the consensus regarded “Lord of the Flies”, Vic Darchinyan, for his IBF 112 pound title, and defeated the heavily favored champion with one swift left hook in the fifth round of their scheduled twelve round contest.
Today, it’s hard not to recognize the ripple effect of that impactful punch. Both fighters ended up going in two different directions professionally as a result of that significant blow to the chin of the formerly undefeated and highly regarded champion.
Since that fateful day, Nonito Donaire has gone on to compete in many lucrative bouts on the biggest stage of boxing, picking up three more division world titles and becoming one of the more highly regarded fighters in the entire sport.
In contrast, the “Raging Bull” from Armenia has garnered a respectable record of 11-4-1 with six knock-outs since the initial bout with the “Filipino Flash”, but has fallen short of most initial observations as one of the most feared pound for pound punchers in the entire sport, circa 2007.
While most boxing pundits have designated Nonito’s momentous “coup de grace” as a clear example of his counter punching brilliance, the Armenian born fighter has consistently stated that 2007’s knock-out of the year was merely the result of a lucky punch.
On Saturday, November 9th, both fighters will finally square up for a final meeting to settle their difference in opinion and resolve their ongoing conflict once and for all.
Although most fight fans and boxing scribes view the heated rivalry as an open and shut case, one could view the match-up as a very competitive one.
Before the telling shot was landed in the fifth round of their initial encounter, two judges at ringside had the bout even after four rounds, with scorecards reflecting a 38-38 point total. Although a lone judge saw Donaire winning every round, the fight was a majority draw leading into the eventual final stanza…a far cry from the widely perceived one sided domination.
Will fight fans see a spirited contest between two bitter rivals, or will tonight’s bout end in a dominant and decisive Nonito Donaire performance?
“Donaire vs. Darchinyan” is part of an HBO Boxing After Dark “Triple Header”, which is scheduled for a start time of 9:30PM EST/PST, and is slated to take place in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Photo and Videos shot by Carlos Sacriste