In one of the most powerful performances of his career, two-division world champion Vic “Raging Bull” Darchinyan dominated former International Boxing Federation (IBF) bantamweight titlist Yonnhy “El Colombiano” Perez en route to winning a fifth-round technical decision and the vacant International Boxing Organization (IBO) 118-pound title Saturday on SHOWTIME® .
The diminutive Darchinyan was in total command from the outset of a scheduled 12-round bout at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE, scored a knockdown in the second and was ahead 50-44 on the three scorecards when the one-sided slugfest was halted due to an accidental headbutt at 1:44 of the round.
Photo: Tom Casino/Showtime
Southpaw Darchinyan, of Sydney, Australia, by way of Armenia, improved to 36-3-1 with 27 knockouts while Colombia’s Perez, of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., fell to 20-2-1 with 14 KOs after losing his second consecutive start.
By winning a fight elevated to main event status after a bout between IBF champion Joseph Agbeko and undefeated Abner Mares was postponed after Agbeko withdrew after suffering what doctors diagnosed as likely the sudden onset of sciatica earlier in the week, Darchyinan sets himself up for possible rematches with both Agbeko and Mares, both of whom he lost decisions to.
It also likely means another possible appearance on SHOWTIME for the crowd-pleasing Darchinyan, who made his 13th appearance on the network Saturday night. He is No. 3 on the all-time list for network appearances behind Julio Cesar Chavez (17) and Evander Holyfield.
“He took big punches,’’ Darchinyan said afterward. “I wanted to knock him out, but he is still a great fighter. It was a headbutt. But if it wasn’t a headbutt, I’d knock him out. No more boxing in my style.
“Today I’d fight anyone in the division. I’d like to fight Abner Mares if he’d fight me. If not, I’ll fight Nonito Donaire. If they won’t fight me, I’ll move up to another division.”
Darchinyan was under the impression that Perez did not want to continue after a headbutt opened a cut on his brow close to the right eye. But although blood spurted immediately, ringside physician, Dr. Paul Wallace, said it was not the case.
“Perez suffered from an arterial bleed,’’ Wallace explained. “One of his blood vessels had been cut and it was pumping directly into his eye. He gave no indication he wanted to stop.”
Perez offered no excuses after suffering his second consecutive defeat.
“I know it appeared differently from the outside but I was just getting warmed up,’’ he said. “At the beginning, I felt that Darchinyan was not as heated up as I expected him to be. I felt I was making headway in the later rounds.
“(But) I am disappointed that the fight ended this way. My head feels fine. I would have continued had the referee not called the fight. The knock down was legitimate — he caught me.
“Now I will head back to Colombia, relax and regroup and then decide the next move in my career.”
A fight promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, Don King Productions, Thompson Boxing and Golden Boy Promotions, will re-air this week as follows:
Gus Johnson (blow-by-blow), Al Bernstein and Antonio Tarver (analysts) called the action with Jim Gray reporting from ringside. The executive producer was David Dinkins, Jr., with Bob Dunphy directing.