By Chris Robinson
For the past five-plus years you would be hard-pressed to find many top-level prizefighters who have tested themselves the way that Armenian Vic Darchinyan has.
Possessing a 37-4-1 record with 27 knockouts, Darchinyan has won some and lost some along the way, engaging in notable battles with the likes of Nonito Donaire, Cristian Mijares, Joseph Agbeko, Jorge Arce, and Abner Mares, amongst others. Darchinyan’s awkward style comes in hand with some very stout power and that will always make him worth watching.
Now 36 years old, Darchinyan finds himself lined up with another arduous task as he meets up with recently-crowned WBC bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka in the fighter’s hometown of Tokyo, Japan. Darchinyan and Yamanaka will meet at the Tokyo International Forum on Friday but Vic is quick to point out that he has been welcomed with open arms upon his arrival to foreign soil.
“It feels good. The people are great,” Darchinyan recently stated of Tokyo. “Teiken Promotions have been great to work with. Mr. Honda is a total professional and it’s been a great to see that professionalism in boxing. Tokyo doesn’t feel like enemy territory, I have a lot of fans here in Japan. I couldn’t believe it when a fan brought six magazine covers that I have been on to have them signed. They really respect warriors and I am thankful that they think I am one.”
Darchinyan is coming off of a wide points loss to silky-smooth stylist Anselmo Moreno on December 3rd and he admits that he didn’t execute the right game plan that evening.
“There were lot things that I didn’t do right,” said Darchinyan of his defeat to the tricky Panamanian. “I should have adjusted my game plan when he started to run. It’s my mistake; I would love to fight him again.”
Asked if he feels as though he is being counted out at this stage of his career, Darchinyan insisted that proving his detractors wrong is far from a priority.
“I don’t care about the doubters,” he continued. “I fight to win; I fight to win world titles and I fight for my fans. I’m going out to win against Yamanaka and win well. If I didn’t think I was going to win I would retire right now.”
As far as any personal opinions on Yamanaka's skills as a champion, Darchinyan admits that he is solid yet doesn’t seem the least bit concerned.
“He’s tough, good mover, uses the ring well; but he has never faced anyone like me,” Darchinyan stated bluntly. “I am going to take him places that he has never been before. It’s going to be a breakdown then a knockout. As long as I put the breakdown before my love of the [knockout] I will never lose a fight. If I go for the [knockout] first I put the risk on losing. That’s been my mistake in the past and I need to fix it.”
It’s been quite a memorable ride that Darchinyan has taken us on and we are fortunate to have fighters like him who are willing to throw themselves into the fire time and time again. With that being said, Darchinyan is quick to point out that he doesn’t see the light at the end of his tunnel this late into his career.
“As long as I have the hunger to fight for world titles and know that I have the will to win I will be around till I’m fifty,” Darchinyan quipped. “If I start to pick and choose opponents and I am not sure about fighting someone I will retire right now.”