This is it! This is “The Final One.” Bernard Hopkins, all jokes...
A Raging Bull Dominates
IOWA CITY — Kid Diamond (real name Almazbeck Raiymkulov)came into this fight as the grizzly veteran against the younger Antonio DeMarco.
There was a time that Kid Diamond was the prospect headed toward championship levels but a loss to Nate Campbell and a draw with Joel Casamayor along with management problems moved Kid Diamond from contender to just opponent.
In the opening round, Kid Diamond proved just a little bit better as he nailed DeMarco a solid right with ten seconds left in the round before a head butt open a cut over Diamond left eye.
While the first two rounds were close, DeMarco’s tactics frustrated the Kid’s wild charges. There were times that Kid Diamond nailed with solid rights and left hook. For DeMarco, his goal was to use his height and reach to out box the Kid.
DeMarco, like many Mexican fighters, loves to brawl and hook. Fighting out of southpaw, his favorite weapon has been his right hand hook but he is an effective boxer as well.
The key for his corner was to allow his boxing skills take p recedence over his desire to brawl. Kid Diamond’s own strategy was to get inside DeMarco and turn the fight into a brawl, hoping that lightening would strike.
Each of the first eight rounds was close affairs that could have gone either way.
There were times that Kid Diamond right or hooks determine portion of a round and there were times that DeMarco right hand jab followed by a straight left took control as each rounds saw ebb and flows for each fighters.
Head butts resulted in cuts for both fighters but the cut men did their job as cuts fail to determine the outcome of the fight.
Going into the ninth round, the question that faced both fighters, would the judges favor the aggressive Diamond or the more skilled DeMarco? The ninth round made the issue moot.
At the beginning of the round, DeMarco unleashed a combination that started with a right jab, right hook followed by a straight left that sent Diamond reeling backwards and his legs wobbly.
Just as many times in the fight, Diamond found a way to counter the more skilled DeMarco by let loose a series of hooks that momentarily slowed the Mexican fighter in the middle of the round and appear to even up the round.
This proved to be a mirage. With 30 seconds left in the round, DeMarco once again gained control of the fight. A right hook shook Diamond and a series of punches, each hitting their mark sent Diamond back to the rope.
A right hook to the body followed by a series of accurate blows bloodied and broke Diamond’s nose.
In between rounds, Diamond nose swelled. The doctor reviewed Diamond and his corner had a decision to be made. The ninth saw the older Diamond unable to respond to DeMarco’s arsenal and Diamond face’s was as swollen as his nose.
The doctor determined that Diamond’s nose was indeed broken and the corner decided enough was enough. While most of the pundits had the fight close, two of the judges had DeMarco ahead 88-83 whereas one judge had Kid Diamond ahead by one point.
A five point lead on those two judges would have made it difficult, if not impossible for Diamond to win. DeMarco’s victory makes him a legitimate contender whereas Diamond career hit a serious roadblock.
At the age of 31, Diamond has only two losses but those losses to top contenders.
THE MAIN EVENT
In the main event, Vic Darchinyan defended his various titles (WBC, WBA, IBF) against the tough Mexican Jorge Arce, one of boxing more colorful characters, a fighter whose popularity extends beyond the ring.
His major goal was to turn the fight into a brawl and use his left hook against Darchinyan. Darchinyan’s fighting style throughout most of his career resembled search and destroy.
After his first lost, Darchinyan went back to a boxing style by using his right hand as more than a reach finder. It became a effective jab that more effectively set up his powerful straight left.
In the first two rounds, Darchinyan’s jab set up his left that nailed Arce repeatedly. He looked confused and never seem to be able to connect with his own punch.
In the third round was Arce’s best as he managed to turn the round into a brawl. Darchinyan forgot his jab and went after Arce only to be victimized by his left hook.
These hooks turned the round around and Darchinyan retreated. The fourth round was as close as the third but by the fight, Darchinyan went back to what worked by jabbing followed by his powerful left.
He successfully nailed Arce with his own punches.
In the seventh round, Arce went back on the attack but this only made Arce vulnerable to Darchinyan counter attacks. With each round after the fifth, Darchinyan’s power continually wore Arce down.
Going into the 11th round, Arce looked the part of a beaten fighter.
His power ebbed and no longer concerned Darchinyan, who nailed him with combinations throughout the round and in the middle of the round, a Darchinyan right open up a cut over Arce’s right eye.
The blood spurted out and Arce wobbled back to his seat.
Arce’s toughness kept him in the fight and allowed him to take Darchinyan best without going down once. When asked how he felt, he responded fine as he wanted one more shot at the champion.
The ring doctor decided otherwise. With both eyes cut and swollen, the ring doctor saw what everyone saw; a one sided fight that Arce had no chance of winning. He stopped the fight.
For Darchinyan, this fight showed that he may be the best little guy and one of the best pound for pound fighters. Arce viewed this fight as a defining fight but what this fight showed; Arce is a good fighter but he is not a great fighter.
Darchinyan is one of boxing best and what makes his story more interesting is how he changed his style in response to his only lost. He reinvented himself but adding boxing skills to his repertoire.
He turned himself from a brawler to a boxer puncher. At 33, this reinvention will add years to his career and allow him to move up in weight.