Dirrell Handles Paschall To Remain Unbeaten
TACOMA, Wash. (Aug. 3, 2008) – “The Raging Bull” Vic Darchinyan promised a highlight reel knockout and delivered one bone-crunching left hand after another. The Armenian-born Australian stopped Russia’s Dimitri Kirilov in the fifth round to earn the IBF junior bantamweight championship, his second career world title, Saturday on SHOWTIME.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast originated from the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Wash.
In the co-feature, undefeated super middleweight Andre Dirrell, of Flint, Mich., took out brawler Mike Paschall of Baltimore, Md., inside four rounds to remain unbeaten.
Former flyweight world titlist Darchinyan was coming off two disappointing fights in his last three outings. Having been knocked out by Philippine Nonito Donaire 13 months ago, and battling to a draw against Zcy Gorres in February, Darchinyan was looking to impress on the way to regaining his status as world champion.
“I have learned a lot from my last few fights,” said Darchinyan. “I was very focused and ready for this fight. I never under estimate my opponents.”
Kirilov, who had never been stopped in 33 professional fights, could not handle the destructive power that Darchinyan brought to the 115-pound fight.
Darchinyan used a consistent jab as a range finder and mixed in monstrous straight left hands and a few uppercuts. From the outset, he landed one big punch after another.
Early in the fifth, the accumulation of punches took its toll and Kirilov went down for the first time. After regaining his feet, Darchinyan pounced and sent Kirilov down again just seconds later. Referee Earl Brown reached the count of 10 at 1:05 of the fifth.
“I would like to have a rematch with Donaire,” said Darchinyan, who improves to 30-1-1 with 24 big knockouts. “But who ever they put in front of me, Christian Mijares, Fernando Montiel, it doesn’t matter. I love to fight.”
The game Kirilov (now 29-4-1, 9 KOs) spoke to SHOWTIME reporter Jim Gray immediately after the fight. “I feel okay physically. I am disappointed that I lost the fight. I took the wrong approach. Freddie Roach was telling me to move to my left and throw combinations, but I couldn’t get off. I couldn’t do the work that I normally do.”
In the 168-pound bout, Dirrell handed Paschall his first professional defeat. Dirrell landed a near-perfect straight left hand in the fourth that opened up a deep gash on Paschall’s forehead and sent him sprawling to the canvas.
After Paschall beat the count, he was checked by the ringside physician. Despite Pascall’s plea for one more round, referee Bobby Howard stopped the fight on the advice of the doctor.
“I started slower than I usually do,” Dirrell said. “He kept throwing that lazy jab and I was lining up the straight left the whole night. I was finally able to land it, a perfect punch, right over the top.”
Through three rounds, the judges had the fight scored 29-28 for Dirrell. The ShoBox alum improves to 16-0 with 11 KOs and is looking forward to a world title fight.
“I’d like to fight one or two more fights, preferably against a top-10 contender,” said Dirrell. “Then I’ll be ready for a world title shot. I am more mature now and feel stronger than ever. It is my dream to fight for a title.”
Undefeated super middleweight contender Andre Ward of Oakland, Calif., was ringside in support of Dirrell, former teammates on the 2004 US Olympic team.
Saturday’s exciting SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast will replay on Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME® 2.
The host of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING is Steve Albert with Al Bernstein serving as color commentator and Jim Gray as ringside reporter. The producer of Saturday’s telecast was Ray Smaltz with Bob Dunpy directing. The executive producer of SHOWTIME Sports is David Dinkins, Jr.
For information on SHOWTIME Sports, including exclusive behing-the-scenes video and photo galleries, complete telecast information and more, please visit SHO.com/sports.
Photos Credit: Tom Casino/SHOWTIME