Three of the four fighters who will be featured on Saturday’s excellent doubleheader on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING participated in a workout Wednesday that was open to the media and public. It was held at the TKO Boxing Gym in Anaheim, Calif.
In what will be a slugfest from start to finish, Vic Darchinyan will defend his International Boxing Federation (IBF), World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Association (WBA) super flyweight belts against Jorge Arce in Saturday’s main event live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).
The once-beaten, hard-hitting Darchinyan (31-1-1, 25 KOs), of Sydney, Australia, by way of Armenia, will be making his first defense since unifying the 115-pound division with a one-sided ninth-round knockout over Mexico’s Cristian Mijares Nov. 1, 2008, on SHOWTIME.
A winner of five in a row and 31 out of his last 32, the popular, crowd-pleasing Arce (51-4-1, 39 KOs), of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, is the current WBA interim super flyweight champion and is a former WBC 115-pound and World Boxing Organization (WBO) 108-pound titleholder.
The co-feature on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING will pit WBC No. 5-ranked contender Antonio DeMarco (19-1-1, 13 KOs) against “Kid Diamond” Almazbek Raiymkulov (27-1-1, 15 KOs) in a 12-rounder for the North American Boxing Organization (NABO) lightweight title.
The event, co-promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, and Bob Arum’s Top Rank, Inc., will take place from the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
Remaining tickets, priced at $250, $125, $90, $60, $45 and $35 on sale, can be purchased through Ticketmaster (all Ticketmaster outlets), by phone, 714-740-2000, online at www.ticketmaster.com and at the Honda Center box office. (note: additional tickets at $35, $45 and $60 have been made available)
What the fighters had to say Wednesday:
“I am anxious, focused and confident. My weight is great. I am ready to go.
“I expect this is going to be a good fight. I’m not looking to knock him out in the first round. He is a tough fighter and I know he is here to give me a tough fight. So this might go a couple rounds.
“But once I hit him – and before he realizes what hit him – the fight will be over.
“I got a lot of attention when I was undefeated, but the recognition is more now that I beat Mijares like a baby. Being undisputed champion means more.
“I know I have a target on my back and that everyone will be gunning for me. That’s why I am not overlooking any opponent, including Arce.
“Arce has done a lot of talking, but I like it when they talk and think they are going to beat me. That way, when it is over, I can remind them of what they said while I am holding the belts.
“I’ve been chasing, following this guy around Mexico for three years. I can’t wait for Saturday.’’
“Darchinyan’s greatest strength is his mouth. I am not intimidated by the devil; why would I be intimidated by him? His biggest weakness is his chin. When he gets hit flush, he doesn’t get up.
“I am ready for anything he has to offer and looking forward to testing him and finding out about his will to win. I know what my will to win is. But we’ll find Saturday about his.
“He hasn’t been fighting really elite Mexican fighters and I have trained for this fight like I never have before. I’ve had a great camp. I’ve been chopping trees and swimming to improve my strength. I’ve sparred with southpaws for the first time. Lefties have never given me a problem.
“People think because I lost to Mijares and Darchinyan beat Mijares that Darchinyan will automatically win our fight. But that’s not how it works. It is just talk. It is neither here nor there. Styles make fights. You’ll see after I nail him what I am saying.
“I am very happy and excited to be here and I am looking forward to fighting in Anaheim again and showing SHOWTIME that I deserve to be on their network. I appreciate this opportunity.
“I am not leaving that ring without the three belts. I am smarter than him.’’
“The only thing I can say is that this is going to be an exciting fight. I have a lot of respect for my opponent in and out of the ring.
“I have prepared for this like it will be the toughest fight of my career. It is especially important to win because what happens Saturday will go a long ways to what will happen to me in the future.
“I am confident of victory for several reasons, but the top two are that I am going to win for my wife, Tanya, and my three-and-one-half-month-old daughter, Camila.’’