Darchinyan stops Arce on cuts

By Francis Walker
Updated: February 8, 2009

NEW YORK – Undisputed world super flyweight champion Vic Darchinyan (32-1-1, 26 KOs) dominated Jorge Arce (51-5-1, 39 KOs) to retain the WBC, WBA, and IBF 115-pound championships.

It was an exciting fight that had lots of action and nail-biting moments. Darchinyan, however, proved too overwhelming for the Mexican warrior. Arce was forced to quit on his stool after the 11th round.

The long-awaited grudge match between The 33 year-old Armenian, and Arce, 29, Mexico, was televised live on Showtime from The Pond in Anaheim, CA.

Darchinyan’s win against Arce was perhaps the most impressive of his career. His noted victories against Cristian Mijares and Dmitri Kirlov to unify the world 115-pound titles last year were career showcases.

However, Mijares and Kirlov, as good as they were as boxers weren’t regarded as punchers. Arce, however, was the hardest puncher that Darchinyan has fought since his shocking one-punch knockout loss to Nonito Donaire on 07-07-07.

Therefore, in theory, Arce would prove to be more competitive than both Mijares and Kirlov. Having lost just twice in the last 10 years to Mijares (L 12) and the great Michael Carbajal (TKO by 11), Arce entered the Darchinyan fight with a punchers chance.

The opportunity to hurt and perhaps knock Darchinyan out occurred in the third round. Arce had difficulty keeping pace with Darchinyan, who jabbed, boxed, and threw hard-straight punches. He kept leading with his head in front of his punches and was getting tagged with some big shots.

Arce caught a break in round three when the champion decided to fight straight-up. This allowed Arce to hit Darchinyan without having to search for him. The exchanges were most heated and hotly contested, as Arce stunned Darchinyan with a right hand that forced him to clinch.

Darchinyan was clearly hurt and went into survival mode, but Arce couldn’t finish the job. Darchinyan dodged the major bullet and went back to fighting intelligently. He wisely utilized his skills to systematically break Arce down with consistent pressure behind a stiff right jab.

The champion also threw his powerful left hand so many different ways in combinations. Darchinyan’s primary targets were Arce’s chin, arms, and ears.

As expected, Arce bled easily. The Mexican warrior had cuts behind his left ear, around his eyes, and his nostrils. To Arce’s credit, his granite chin enabled him to take some incredible punches from Darchinyan, who himself couldn’t believe the fight lasted as long as it did.

There were no knockdowns in the fight, but Arce did crash hard into the ropes on several occasions. The flow of the contest left an impression that Darchinyan’s technical skills were too much for Arce, who gave every indication that he was two or three solid shots from being KO’d.

After the 11th, it made literally no sense for Arce to leave his corner to start the final round. With tears of blood streaming from the lacerations above Arce’s eyes, the stoppage was warranted. Arce was too weakened by Darchinyan’s speed, power, and overall technical mastery in a grueling fight.

Antonio DeMarco stops “Kid Diamond” in co-feature

Antonio DeMarco (20-1, 14 KOs) earned the biggest win of his career in the televised co-feature. DeMarco shocked the boxing community by stopping “Kid Diamond” Almazbek Raiumkulov (27-2-1, 15 KOs). The 31 year-old “Kid Diamond” is a former Olympian and a veteran of 300 amateur fights (280-20).

DeMarco, who doesn’t have nearly the amount of experience that “Kid Diamond” has, won his 14th consecutive bout, engaged Raiumkulov in a war. It was an all-action fight that took a dramatic turn when DeMarco pummeled and nearly KO’d “Kid Diamond” in round eight.

Raiumkulov opted to quit on his stool prior to the ninth round.

“Kid Diamond” really hasn’t lived-up to his potential and can somewhat be considered a disappointment. He really turned heads after he unexpectedly lost to Nate Campbell (TKO by 10) in 2005.

Campbell, the current IBF/WBO lightweight champion, was on the verge of becoming a well-polished journeyman at age 36, turned his career around by pummeling a 25 year-old “Kid Diamond” around the ring with constant pressure behind his right hand. That proved to be the turning point in the careers of both men.

In addition:Vanes Martirosyan (24-0, 14 KOs) appeared in the non-televised portion of the Darchinyan-Arce card at The Pond. Martirosyan won an eight-round unanimous decision over Bill Lyell (18-6, 3 KOs)

Martirosyan is an undefeated 154-pound prospect fighting out of Glendale, CA. He’s also a former representative of the 2004 U.S. Olympic boxing team and compiled an amateur record of 120-10 overall.

Nate Campbell vs. Ali Funeka looms

Speaking of Nate Campbell,(32-5-2, 25 KO) the 135-pound champion, who recently vacated the WBA title, defends the remaining IBF/WBO crowns against No. 1-ranked Ali Funeka (30-1, 25 KOs).

Campbell, a 36 year-old from Florida, has won six of his last seven, including a career-best performance against Juan Diaz (W 12) to capture the unified IBF/WBA and WBO titles.

Campbell was supposed to have fought unbeaten two-division titlist Joan Guzman in September. Guzman couldn’t make the 135-pound limit and the fight was scratched. Campbell hasn’t fought since beating Diaz.

Funeka is 6-feet-1 with a very good record having fought exclusively in South Africa. Funeka became the IBF mandatory challenger by knocking out Zahir Raheem (KO 4) in July 2008.

Campbell vs. Funeka will be the HBO “Boxing After Dark” co-featured attraction to Sergio Martinez vs. Kermit Cintron. The telecast begins at 10 p.m. ET from the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise, FL.

Andre Ward victorious on ShoBox

2004 Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward proved that he’s ready to take his career to the next level. Ward, an undefeated super middleweight prospect is looking to develop into a 168-pound title contender.

Ward (18-0, 12 KOs) won a 12-round unanimous decision against Henry Buchanan (17-2, 12 KOs) on Friday at The Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino in Lemoore, CA.

All three judges scored the bout a 120-108 shutout for Ward, who was the main event attraction on Showtime’s critically acclaimed ShoBox: The New Generation series.

“I’m excited about the future,” Ward said. “I’m ready for the top guy(s) now. This fight was just a prelude to what’s ahead. The right doors will open. I want to be a seasoned champ and I want to reign.”

Ward has fought professionally for five years and he is an Olympic gold medal winner. Ward has fought guys with winning records – four unbeaten and four with only one loss.

His rankings (WBC and WBO #3, WBA #10, IBF# 14) can be justified, but he needs to step-up the level of his opposition.

“We’re ready to Glen Johnson, Jermain Taylor or, of course, any of the champions,” said Wartd’s promoter Dan Goossen. “I know Andre is ready to come right back in April, early May at the latest. I think Andre is the best, most talented 168-pounder in the world and I can’t wait until he gets the chance to prove it.”

In the ShoBox co-feature: John “John” Molina (15-0, 11 KOs) knocked out Joshua Allotey (15-7, 13 KOs) at 1:28 of round three.