“’Oh, it’s still on my mind,” he admitted last week while still in the States. “I did a mistake; I know I was winning the fight but I didn’t want to finish the fight by points. I wanted to knock him out.”
For much of the fight, Darchinyan was able to land his left and out-fight Donaire, who, coming off his loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux, looked like a rudderless ship. But for all his technical defiencies, the “Filipino Flash” still has the eraser, which Darchinyan discovered. “He caught me with a big punch,” he lamented. “That’s boxing. One mistake can cost you a fight - simple as that.”
“It was an excruciating loss for Vic,” said his manager, Frank Espinoza. “I know how badly he wanted this fight. Not many people really gave him a shot at even being competitive and he opened a lot of eyes with his performance. I can’t lie; I was devastated for him, knowing how much that fight meant to him. We were so close.”
So does this fight haunt Darchinyan? Can he focus on the task at hand?
“I’ve gotten over it and I’m already better for this fight. I think I am more ready for this fight,” answered Darchinyan, who says he is now more acclimated to the featherweight class. “If you remember my last fight, I just moved up to 122 and I offered Donaire the fight at 122 or catchweight at 124. He said it would have to be at 126. I was smaller at the time. Now I think I’m bigger. I’m much bigger than the last fight. You will see a big difference.”
When asked his thoughts on Walters, Darchinyan says, “I see his last fight; he’s a very skillful fighter. He has strong punchers, different punches. I think with my skills, I’m much better than him and even [when it comes to] big punching, I’m much stronger than him. So I want to prove in this fight I’m much better than him.” Darchinyan believes the plan for Top Rank is to eventually set up a featherweight unification between Walters and Donaire (who is also on this card against featherweight beltholder Simpiwe Vetyeka).
“But I don’t think so,” said the “Raging Bull” from Armenia. “You will see how much better I’m going to be this fight. And of course, in the future, I’m still looking for a fight with Donaire.”
Yes, for Darchinyan, it’s always about Donaire like it was always about the white whale for Captain Ahab.
He explains, “Because everyone knows I’m losing fights to him, yeah, but the last fight everyone saw I was in the front and I make one mistake that cost me a fight.”
So Darchinyan wants a third go-round with Donaire, who handed him his first pro loss back in July of 2007?
“Yes,” he answered, “and I also want to unify the belt with the Russian boy, [IBF titlist Evgeny] Gradovich. If I can unify the belts with him, have two titles, I think Donaire has to fight me. But I think after the last fight, Donaire’s not going to fight me because he feels my power. He knows I can punch bigger; I can punch harder now. I don’t think he’s going to take my fight anymore.”
Yeah, some of you will find Darchinyan’s comments odd or downright delusional. Despite taking two KO losses to Donaire, he believes somehow that he holds the advantages in a third hook-up. Of course, the fact he yearns for it at all speaks volumes of the kind of fighter he is. You don’t have the kind of career he’s had without a little bit of hubris. Just look up his run from 112 to 115 and beyond (http://boxrec.com/list_bouts.php?human_id=42089&cat=boxer). This guy has never been afraid of a challenge. Give him this: he has never shied away from fights.
“That’s the thing about Vic; he will literally fight anyone. It’s not really hard to manage a guy like this. I mean after that last fight, he was always calling me and asking when he was going again and he didn’t want to know about anything other than that, when and where was he going to fight,” said Espinoza, who signed Darchinyan to a deal with Top Rank Promotions in 2013.
“And with the nature of his performance against Donaire, even though he lost, he was still very marketable,” continued Espinoza, who made the Walters fight, which will be streamed in the early morning hours on Saturday on TopRank.tv.
At age 38, Darchinyan is running out of strikes. In fact, this could be his last shot but characteristically, he isn’t harboring such thoughts. When asked if this was his last chance, he said incredulously, “If I don’t win this fight? I never put that option in front of me. I know I’m going to win this fight. I don’t think - I know I’m going to win this fight.
“I’m going to come and destroy him.”
This week’s edition of “The Next Round” with Gabe Montoya and Yours Truly:
Charlie Fitch has been named the third man in the ring for the Carl Froch-George Groves rematch...It’s been announced that Abner Mares will return to the ring on July 12th on the Saul Alvarez-Erislandy Lara undercard in Las Vegas...HBO’s “24/7” for Sergio Martinez vs. Miguel Cotto premieres on HBO this Saturday night at 11:15 p.m., ET/PT...Are the Los Angeles Kings really on the verge of going to their second Stanley Cup Finals in three years? What in the name of Rogie Vachon is going on here?!...The Pacers really are a bunch of whiners; aren’t they?...Great to have “MasterChef” back...I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and I tweet at www.twitter.com/stevemaxboxing. We also have a Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/MaxBoxing, where you can discuss our content with Maxboxing readers as well as chime in via our fully interactive article comments sections.