By Keith Idec
MASHANTUCKET, Conn. — Vic Darchinyan isn’t quite done as a capable prizefighter after all.
The 36-year-old former 112-pound and 115-pound champion bounced back from two straight losses by beating previously undefeated prospect Luis Del Valle by unanimous decision in their 10-round, 122-pound fight Saturday night at MGM Grand at Foxwoods Resort Casino.
Judges Julie Lederman and Glenn Feldman scored the powerful southpaw a 99-91 winner. The third judge, Clark Sammartino, scored the fight much closer. He had Darchinyan winning, 96-94.
“I’m back,” said Darchinyan, a Glendale, Calif., resident raised in Armenia. “I feel good at this weight. I feel strong. I work very hard. He’s a tough kid. I just felt I was in a different class than him.”
The 25-year-old Del Valle (16-1, 11 KOs), of Newburgh, N.Y., survived some serious trouble during the most difficult fight of his four-year pro career to finish it on his feet.
The ever-aggressive Darchinyan (38-5-1, 27 KOs), who landed power punches from strange angles, connected with a left uppercut that made Del Valle lose his balance late in the eighth round. Darchinyan wobbled Del Valle with another hard left uppercut with 40 seconds to go in the ninth round, but Del Valle made it all the way to the final bell.
Del Valle acknowledged afterward that he often fought too recklessly against a dangerous opponent who has competed against a much higher level of opposition than him. Fighting in an overly aggressive manner, rather than trying to out-box the rugged Darchinyan, proved to be a costly strategy.
“I’m very disappointed,” Del Valle said. “He’s extremely awkward. I let him impose his style and he got his confidence early. … My hat’s off to him. He was the better man [Saturday night].”
The entertaining slugfest was the second of three bouts broadcast by HBO from MGM Grand at Foxwoods Resort Casino.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.