Donaire-Darchinyan rematch set for November
MANILA, Philippines – It is a rematch six years in the making as Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire and Armenian star Vic Darchinyan will face off again in a 10-round featherweight bout on November 9.
Donaire’s rise to boxing superstardom had begun in November 2007, when he knocked out Darchinyan in the fifth round of their flyweight showdown to hand the Armenian his first ever loss.
Since then, Darchinyan has had an up-and-down career, while Donaire has been acknowledged as one of the best fighters pound-for-pound before losing to Guillermo Ridondeaux last April.
According to reports from ESPN.com and RingTV, the Donaire-Darchinyan rematch will be a part of an HBO-televised triple-header that is likely to take place at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Also included in the fight card is a junior middleweight clash between Vanes Martirosyan and Demetrius Andrade, as well as a junior lightweight bout between Mikey Garcia and Roman “Rocky” Martinez.
Both Donaire and Darchinyan will be making their featherweight debuts in the fight. Darchinyan initially asked for a 124-pound catchweight, but eventually agreed to a bout at the 126-pound weight division.
“Darchinyan is an awkward guy and he can punch. He’s a dangerous guy, and he really wants this fight and revenge. You never take a guy like this lightly. Anything can happen in this business,” Donaire’s manager, Cameron Dunkin, told ESPN.
“He’s at the point in his career where he doesn’t want to wait any longer,” added Darchinyan’s manager, Frank Espinoza. “He wants redemption, and by beating Donaire, the doors will open for him again.”
Meanwhile, Top Rank chief executive Bob Arum said the bout was interesting because he wonders if Donaire can rebound from his “listless” performance against Rigondeaux, which he lost via decision.
“Donaire is coming off the worst performance that I’ve ever seen where he was seemingly unprepared for the fight with Rigondeaux and listless,” Arum said. “When something like that happens, you don’t know for sure if a fighter can snap out of that, so that remains to be seen.”
“I don’t know whether we’ll see the Donaire that we were used to seeing before the Rigondeaux fight, or another version of Donaire. So that makes this rematch with Darchinyan interesting,” he added.