Vic DarchinyanMonday, October 29, 2018
He is a former world champion in two weight classes, having held the IBF flyweight title from 2004 to 2007; and the unified WBA (Super), WBC, IBF, and lineal super-flyweight titles between 2008 and 2010. Additionally, he has held a record four IBO titles at flyweight, super-flyweight, and twice at bantamweight between 2005 and 2011. A southpaw boxer with a highly unique fighting style and formidable punching power, Darchinyan became the first Armenian to win a world title in 2004.
Darchinyan was born on 7 January 1976, in Vanadzor, Armenia. His father, Ruben Darchinyan, was an Olympic wrestling coach for Armenia. Ruben's name can sometimes be seen on Vic's boxing trunks. Vic has a sister named Liana.
Vic wanted to become a boxer at the age of 5 and dreamed of becoming a world champion in the professionals. His father told him there was no professional boxing in Armenia (or any Soviet countries; this changed when the Union fell in 1991) and instead wanted Vic to follow in his footsteps and take up wrestling. Vic also wrestled as a kid, but always continued to say he would become a world champion someday. He eventually left wrestling in pursuit of his dream to become a world boxing champion.
Vic began boxing at the age of 8 within the community of Vanadzor, where boxing was very popular. He was trained by the experienced Vazgen Badalyan. Darchinyan's amateur career record was 158-18 with 105 knockouts. Vic fought in many different countries and participated for Armenia in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. He went to the third round in the 112 lb division before losing against Bulat Jumadilov of Kazakhstan. Darchinyan moved to Australia after competing in the Olympics and eventually became an Australian citizen later in the same year. Darchinyan turned pro at the age of 24 on 3 November 2000.
Vic Darchinyan won a bronze medal at the 1998 European Amateur Boxing Championships in Minsk. He also won a bronze medal at the 1998 Goodwill Games. In the same year, Darchinyan won a bronze medal at the 1998 Boxing World Cup.
- Defeated opponent
- Defeated Ilfat Ryazapov (Russia) 20-11
- Lost to Bulat Jumadilov (Kazakhstan) 8-15
Vic is promoted by Gary Shaw Promotions and HyeFighters. From November 2000 to December 2004, Vic built up a record of 21-0 (16 ko's) and captured the Australian, Oceanic and Pan Pacific flyweight titles. After knocking out former 2-division world champion Wandee Singwancha in an IBF eliminator, he earned the IBF #1 mandatory ranking.
He won his IBF title on 16 December 2004 in his first fight in the United States, defeating respected then-undefeated champion Irene Pacheco of Colombia, via 11th round technical knock-out. Pacheco had held the title for over 5 years. Returning to Australia, his first title defense was against long time contender and IBO belt holder, Mzukisi Sikali, in a crowd-pleasing brawl. By the 8th round, Sikali took a combination body and head shots and turned away in a 'No Mas' fashion, prompting referee Pete Podgorski to step in and wave it off.
Attempting to secure a fight in the USA, Vic took a stay-busy fight defending his title against fringe contender Jair Jimenez, whom he floored him in round 4. The referee stopped fight in the 5th after Jimenez started to walk away from the fight. Returning to the USA headlining on ShoBox: The New Generation, his third title defense was against Filipino contender Diosdado Gabi. Vic knocked him out with a single straight left in the 8th round.
Three months later, returning to Showtime after the hotly contested Jose Luis Castillo Vs Diego Corrales rubber match fell through, Vic's defense against then-undefeated Mexican contender Luis Maldonado was moved to the main event. He stopped the tough Mexican in the 8th round. In his fifth title defense, Vic faced Glenn Donaire. Glenn gave up during the fight, claiming Vic broke his jaw in the 6th round from an alleged elbow attack. Replays show no evidence of an elbow. Darchinyan's camp, though winners by technical decision, have always claimed this should have been a legitimate knockout.
In his sixth title defense, Darchinyan faced former light flyweight champion Victor Burgos. Vic knocked Burgos down in the second round and stopped him in the twelfth round. Victor later underwent surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain. Burgos was put into a medically induced coma and made a full recovery. However, he was not able to fight again.
In 2007, Darchinyan suffered his first defeat from Nonito Donaire, younger brother of Glenn Donaire, in a title bout via TKO. Darchinyan was caught with a left hook which floored him, in an exchange with Donaire in the fifth round. Darchinyan managed to get up but immediately fell on the ropes and the referee stopped the fight. Darchinyan lost the IBF and IBO flyweight titles to Donaire. The match was eventually awarded Knockout of the Year and Upset of the Year by Ring Magazine.
Darchinyan returned 3 months later and won the vacant IBO super flyweight title by stopping Filipino veteran Federico Catubay. Catubay was knocked down in round 7 and 11. Vic decided to outbox and outpunch his larger opponent and finally finished him off in round 12. He voluntarily relinquished the IBO title prior to fighting in an IBF eliminator.
On 2 February 2008, Darchinyan fought Z Gorres to a controversial split draw at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City, Philippines in an IBF Super Flyweight Eliminator where the winner would challenge the champion Dimitri Kirilov. The bout began with a knockdown for Darchinyan in the first round, which appeared to be a slip by Gorres when replayed. The crowd was upset with the referee calling the slip a knockdown and began to pelt the ring with bottles of water, coins and other objects. Gorres came back in the second round to floor Darchinyan with a left hand, but Darchinyan beat the count, which again prompted some arena fans to pelt the ring with objects. Gorres was knocked down in the fifth round, but the referee ruled it a slip. A clash of heads in the sixth round opened up a bad gash on Gorres. In the ninth round, Darchinyan connected with a right hand, sending Gorres down for the second time in the fight. Gorres would fall to the canvas on at least three other occasions in the final three rounds, with the referee ruling all of them slips. The final scores were 113-112 for Gorres, 114-112 for Darchinyan, and 113-113 for the draw. Darchinyan's promoter, Gary Shaw, filed an official protest with the IBF over the officiating of the bout.
Despite the draw, Darchinyan earned the right to take on Kirilov for being higher in the ratings and willing to accept the fight.
Second world title
Six months later, Darchinyan was back in what most experts called a career-best performance, taking on IBF super flyweight champion Dimitri Kirilov at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma Washington. Darchinyan dominated from the opening bell and showed an improvement in speed and boxing skill. He eventually caught Kirilov in round 5, dropping him twice en route to a round KO. Darchinyan was ahead 40-36 on all three judges' scorecards.
Unified WBA and WBC champion
On 1 November 2008, Darchinyan fought WBC and WBA super flyweight champion Cristian Mijares at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. Darchinyan was the aggressor from the outset, getting inside with big punches, including a left uppercut that knocked Mijares down in the first round. With his unorthodox crouching style, Darchinyan seemed to confuse Mijares, who was often content to counterpunch rather than attack. Mijares connected with just one combination the entire fight, that during a brief span of the fifth round. Darchinyan, however, was unhurt and unfazed. In the ninth round, Darchinyan caught Mijares with a right hand. Then as Mijares backed away, Darchinyan lunged and landed a straight left hand that knocked out Mijares. Darchinyan became the first man in history to unify the titles in the weight class. On 7 February 2009, Darchinyan successfully defended his unified WBC, WBA, IBF and lineal titles against multiple time champion Jorge Arce, winning by TKO in the 11th round. The early rounds were somewhat competitive, but as each round progressed, Darchinyan asserted his dominance more and more. In the 11th round, the doctor stopped the bout because Arce was severely cut on both eyes.
On 12 December 2009, having vacated his IBF belt in an unsuccessful attempt to move up to bantamweight, Darchinyan successfully defended his unified WBC, WBA and lineal titles against interim champion Tomás Rojas, winning by KO in the 2nd round. Rojas would go on to capture the WBC belt shortly after Vic vacated it.
On 6 March 2010, Darchinyan successfully defended his unified WBC and WBA titles against Rodrigo Guerrero, winning a unanimous decision. Guerrero would go on to capture the IBF belt in 2011.
While retaining his WBC and WBA super flyweight belts, Darchinyan vacated his IBF belt in order to move up to bantamweight to fight IBF champion Joseph Agbeko in Sunrise, Florida on 11 July 2009. He lost a unanimous decision in a fight he looked almost too overly aggressive in and couldn't seem to cope with the Ghanan's style and repeatedly walked into straight right hands. Agbeko spoiled Darchinyan's goal of winning his third world title in a different division. Two judges scored the bout 114-113 for Agbeko, while the third had it for the Ghanaian Agbeko, 116-111. Despite the defeat at bantamweight, Darchinyan was still recognized as super flyweight champion by both the WBC and WBA.
In May 2010 Darchinyan won the vacant IBO bantamweight title with a one-sided unanimous decision victory in his adopted land of Australia over Eric Barcelona. Barcelona was knocked down twice in the fifth round, once in the eleventh round and was docked a point in each the sixth and twelfth rounds.
Following the win, it was soon announced that Darchinyan would take part in Showtime's four man bantamweight tournament, along with Joseph Agbeko, Abner Mares and IBF bantamweight champion Yonnhy Pérez. Vic lost in the semi-finals against México's Mares via controversial split decision. Darchinyan dominated Mares in first half of the fight. Mares was knocked down once in the second round and was docked a point in the fourth round for low blows. Mares had been throwing dirty punches the entire fight, however, and continued to do so, being warned 16 more times after the point deduction. The referee continued to turn a blind eye to Mares' low blows and, as a result, Mares started winning rounds. Darchinyan was knocked down once in the seventh round out of pain from low blows. When the win was announced for Mares, the audience seemed surprised, as many felt Darchinyan had won this fight.
In the consolation bout, Darchinyan rocked Perez in round one, knocked him down in round two and was in command all the way. Perez had his moments but wasn't able to hold off Darchinyan's aggression. The bout ended when Perez was cut by an accidental headbutt at 1:07 of round five. Scores were 50-44 on all cards. Darchinyan dedicated his victory to the lives lost in the 1915 Armenian Genocide, as well as the Australians that perished in Anzac Day for the following day. On 24 April, one day after his fight, he joined thousands of Armenian Americans on the streets of Los Angeles in a march to commemorate the Genocide. Vic was later honored at the Armenian National Committee of America Annual Banquet on 26 November. He was rated #1 contender by the WBA shortly after the fight.
In September, for a homecoming bout in Armenia, Vic battered tough African contender Evans Mbamba (18-2, 9 KOs) for twelve one-sided rounds (Darchinyan won 120-107 on two cards and 119-107 on the third), maintaining the mandatory WBA #1 position and gaining WBO #1 spot shortly after. Mbamba was knocked down once in the first round.
In a bantamweight double header (an extension of Showtime's Bantamweight Tournament), Vic faced WBA (Super) champion Anselmo Moreno on 3 December 2011 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Moreno took adavantage of his longer reach and height by fighting Darchinyan from the outside while ducking and weaving the whole fight. Darchinyan was docked one point in round 4 for throwing Moreno to the ground. Moreno hit Darchinyan with a low blow and was not docked a point, even though the referee gave Darchinyan time to recuperate. The three judges scored a lopsided unanimous decision win to Moreno.
On 6 April 2012, Darchinyan lost to WBC bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka in Yamanaka's home country of Japan. The fight was not without controversy. Darchinyan was slightly ahead on one card and the other two were even after the fourth round. In the fourth, a clash of heads opened a bloody cut on Darchinyan's eyebrow and nose. Yamanaka hit Darchinyan with an elbow on the same eyebrow in round five, severing the cut. The referee was not in line of sight to see this. Blood was pouring more rapidly out of Darchinyan's eyebrow afterward and the ringside doctor examined it. A fight would usually be stopped and given a technical decision at this point, but the cut was controversially ruled to have been caused by a punch by the ringside doctor, who examined the cut in the sixth round, when Darchinyan was ahead on points. Darchinyan, fighting with blood in his eyes for the rest of the fight, lost via decision. The headbutt and elbow thrown by Yamanaka had raised much controversy, as Darchinyan was winning the fight beforehand and his performance seemed to slow down as consequence. The result is currently being protested by Team Darchinyan with photographic proof Yamanaka used an illegal headbutt and elbow.
A rematch between Vic Darchinyan and Nonito Donaire took place on 9 November 2013. The 37-year-old Darchinyan gave the 30-year-old Donaire a lot more trouble than was expected, as this was intended to be an easy bounce-back fight for Donaire who was coming off his first loss in over a decade. Darchinyan fought a smarter fight and confused a sluggish Donaire for much of the first 8 rounds, but in the 9th round was dropped and got up to be finished by TKO. At the time of the stoppage, Darchinyan was leading on the scorecards: 78-74, 78-74, and 76-76.
Afterwards, Darchinyan fought up another weight class and challenged Nicholas Walters for his WBA featherweight title on 31 May 2014 in Macau. The fight went five rounds before Darchinyan was knocked out. Darchinyan won his next fight against Juan Jimenez by TKO in the 9th round. The bout took place in Mexico, the seventh country Darchinyan had fought in. He fought WBA (Regular) featherweight titleholder Jesús Cuellar on 6 June 2015 and lost by 8th-round TKO. Two more knock out victories against Prayoot Yaijam and Cris Paulino saw Darchinyan finishing 2015 by winning the vacant WBC–ABCO super bantamweight title.
In 2016, he was knocked out in two rounds by journeyman Sergio Frias and did not fight again that year.
After taking some time off to re-evaluate, Darchinyan knocked out Pakpoom Hammarach in one round on 10 March 2017. The fight was taken by Darchinyan not for the money, but to see if he still had the hunger and desire to continue his boxing career. Taking place in Perth, this would be his last fight in Australia. He has confirmed his next fight will be his last and expressed interest in one more big fight against Evgeny Gradovich in Russia or Carl Frampton in England.