Boxing: Darchinyan Undisputed Champion

Peter Kogoy

The Australian
Nov 3 2008

VIC Darchinyan was at his devastating brutal best, scoring a stunning
knockout win in a historic super flyweight world title unification bout
against Mexican champion Cristian Mijares in Los Angeles yesterday.

Armenian-born Darchinyan, who held the IBF version, knocked Mijares
down with a vicious uppercut in the first round and finished him off
in the ninth with a stunning pile-driving left.

Darchinyan destroyed the much-hyped Mexican opponent to record his
25th win by knockout in a 31-fight professional career.

In the end referee Lou Moret had little choice but to end the fight
with the badly beaten Mijares, 28, lying flat on his back.

"Nobody gave me a chance, but I believe I’m a much smarter fighter
today than I was a few years ago," a jubilant Darchinyan said in a
phone hook-up yesterday.

"There was little point in rushing him after I got him good in the
first round.

"I was just as happy to pick him off one punch at a time until I got
him with a good punch in the ninth.

"As I found out later all three judges had me well in front on their
scorecards before I delivered the knockout punch."

Mijares, boxing’s new pin-up boy and a Mexican television personality
when not fighting, was the short-priced favourite, with bookmakers
from Alice Springs to Las Vegas not giving the hard-hitting Darchinyan,
a southpaw, much of a chance.

The only time Mijares seemed to trouble Darchinyan during the bout came
in the fourth round when he had the Sydney-based fighter doubled over
from a low blow that prompted a warning on the run from referee Moret.

Going into the unification fight, Mijares was rated by the respected
journal Ring Magazine as the seventh-best boxer in the world

The US media had also written off Darchinyan. The lack of respect
leading up to the bout was like waving a red flag in front of the
fighter dubbed Raging Bull.

Darchinyan had vowed to prove the doubters wrong and from the opening
round Mijares could not match Darchinyan’s power.

The upper-cut that flattened Mijares came with 20 seconds left in round
one, allowing Mijares to stumble to his feet and be saved by the bell.

The bout-ending left came late in the ninth, with just eight seconds
left, but Mijares was unable to get up.

The fight was historic because it was the first time the super
flyweight division has been unified, almost seven years to the
day since Kostya Tszyu unified the lightweight division by beating
Zab Judah.

Darchinyan went into the bout as the International Boxing Federation
champion while Mijares was the reigning World Boxing Council and
World Boxing Association title-holder.

Earlier at the Los Angeles venue Darchinyan’s Sydney stable-mate
Victor Oganov was controversially beaten in his super middleweight
world title elimination fight against American Andre Direll.

Russian-born Oganov protested angrily when referee Ray Corona stopped
the fight 30 seconds into the sixth round.

Oganov was hit with an upper-cut before the stoppage and had taken
a barrage of blows in the earlier rounds, but was still on his feet
and ready to continue when the fight was halted.

"The main thing is the safety of the fighter," Corona said. "He took
some heavy blows."

Oganov was also not given much of a chance of victory, with
unbeaten Direll, a bronze medallist at the 2004 Athens Olympics,
the overwhelming favourite and promoted as one of the division’s
top prospects.

The win gives Direll a shot at the World Boxing Organisation’s super
middleweight title.

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