By Francisco Salazar
WBA flyweight titleholder Artem Dalakian would like to face any of the world titleholders at 112 pounds in an attempt to unify the division. For now, he will make another defense of his world title belt.
Dalakian will face mandatory challenger Sarawut Thawornkhan of Thailand Saturday night at the Parkovy Convention Centre in Kiev, Ukraine.
The 31-year-old Dalakian will be making the third defense of his world title belt he won on Feb. 24 of last year, defeating Brian Viloria by unanimous decision.
In his last bout on Dec. 15, Dalakian stopped Gregorio Lebron of the Dominican Republic in round five. Despite the impressive performance, Dalakian believed he could have done much better, despite knocking Lebron down three times in round five.
“I would give myself seven points from a 10-point system,” Dalakian told Boxingscene through interpreter Vlad Eliseev. “The referee stopped the fight due to three knockdowns in one round. I think Lebron fell more than he should have. I would’ve wanted to end the fight more spectacularly.”
Dalakian has stopped six of his last seven opponents, with the victory by decision coming against Viloria. His aggressive, high-volume punching has overwhelmed opponents, but he believes he is just as an effective technician as he is someone who can batter and eventually stop his opponents.
“I consider myself both a puncher and a classic boxer,” said Dalakian, who is managed by Dmitriy Eliseev. “I like to beat my opponent using my speed, but I can fight as well. My record shows it. I’ve won 13 from (my) 18 bouts by knockout.”
Dalakian could make a case for being the best fighter at 112 pounds. Yuriy Ruban, the promoter of Dalakian, believes he promotes the best flyweight in boxing today.
“Artem is currently the best boxer in the world in his weight class,” Ruban also told Boxingscene. “Charlie Edwards, the WBC titleholder, and Moruti Mthalane, the IBF titleholder, have been his sparring partner over the last year before winning world titles. We know these champions well and their capabilities, which is probably why they don’t refuse our offer to unify titles, but also still do not agree.”
“As for WBO titleholder Kosei Tanaka, Japanese representatives are also not interested in unifying all of the belts. Artem is not spoiled, and he striving for perfection.”
Dalakian would like an opportunity to prove he is the division, but is not holding his breath a unification fight is around the corner.
Until then, Dalakian will face contenders, including Saturday’s opponent, Sarawut Thawornkham (20-1, 15 KOs), who has not lost since his pro debut.
Dalakian is not overlooking Thawornkham, but is eyeing one fighter in particular.
“I would like to unify the belts this year, especially against (WBC titleholder) Charlie Edwards.”
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing