17.10.05 – By Gavin Stone: Darchinyan will make the third defense of his IBF Flyweight world title against Northern Irelands Damaen Kelly on November 25 at the State Sports Centre in Homebush, Sydney. Although this will be the third defense of his title, the Australian citizen is yet to fully gain the recognition from the Australian public that he deserves as he is unquestionably Australia’s number one boxer on a pound for pound scale along with fellow eastern European born fighter Kostya Tszyu.
With this in mind, it is interesting to take a look at what has led the southpaw Darchinyan (who is also to holder of the IBO title at Flyweight) to the current stage of his career in which he holds a 24-0 professional record.
Darchinyan moved to Australia to train under the guidance of 3 time world champion and Hall of Fame legend Jeff Fenech after the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Darchinyan reached the Quarter Finals of the Sydney Games, and Fenech saw potential in the young Armenian who finished with a 170 (152-18) amateur fight record. Fenech enticed the young Darchinyan to join his growing team of fighters, and sponsorship was obtained from Mr. Henry Hacobian, a well respected Armenian businessman living in Sydney, Darchinyan was also given the ring name of “The Raging Bull” by corner man Angelo Hyder and is a reflection of Darchinyan’s aggressive boxing style. Darchinyan then made his professional debut in November 2000 at the Sydney Star City Casino, on a card which was shown live on Fox Sports.
After being steadily brought up through the professional ranks over a 4 year period and picking up one National and two Regional title belts, Darchinyan built a solid 21-0 record and was ready to challenge for a world title.
In December 2004 Darchinyan traveled overseas to fight undefeated Colombian Irene Pacheco for the IBF Flyweight world title. Pacheco had been world champion for 5 years, and went into the fight as a strong favorite. In an open air arena in the Hollywood suburb of Florida (USA), Darchinyan took the reigning champion apart and won the title via way of an 11th round
Darchinyan was now on the way, a world title was his and he was ready to take on the other champions in the division.
Darchinyan made the first defense of the IBF title in a unification bout with IBO champion Mzukisi Sikali of South Africa. Darchinyan proved far too strong for the experienced Sikali and won via an 8th round stoppage which was of the suggestion of Sikali’s corner.
The now unified IBF and IBO Flyweight world champion made his most recent defense against Jair Jimenez at the Sydney Entertainment Centre in August of this year. Darchinyan put on a superlative performance against the strong willed South American winning by a 5th round TKO after Jimenez corner saved their fighter from further damage, a reoccurring trend with Darchinyan opponents. In this fight ‘The Raging Bull’ showed a tenacity that has been lacking from other Australian’s in
world title fights.
Darchinyan recently returned from a trip to his country of birth in which he opened a boxing gym in his native town of Vanadzor, and after coming back refreshed Darchinyan is now ready for his next challenge. Damaen Kelly will be this challenge.
Kelly holds a 21-2 record and the current IBO Super Flyweight champion. The 32yo Kelly has also held Flyweight title belts for the IBO and WBF, and is a recognised world class fighter. The Northern Irishman will provide Darchinyan with a solid test, however it’s difficult to see Kelly overcoming the power and strength of the hometown fighter.
In the opinion of a boxing fan, Vic Darchinyan is one of, if not the most exciting boxer to watch from a fans point of view. Darchinyan is enthralling viewing as he exhibits a mental and physical power that his opponents so far have found impossible to overcome, and this is delivered in a unique style, a style where by his ring name “The Raging Bull” suits him down to a tee. Vic Darchinyan is must see TV for not just any boxing fan, but for all sporting fans alike.