LAREDO, TX – On the heels of Tax Day, two-division world champion VIC “Raging Bull” DARCHINYAN is looking to file a happy return to the ring when he makes his Top Rank and 2013 debut. The former flyweight and super flyweight world champion and current Top-Three contender will take on Tijuana toughman Francisco Javier Gallo in a 10-round super bantamweight rumble, on Saturday, May 11, under the stars at the Uni-Trade Stadium in Laredo, TX. This marks the inaugural boxing event at Uni-Trade Stadium, the new state-of-the-art home of the Laredo Lemurs of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball League.
Darchinyan vs. Gallo will be televised live on UniMás, as the main event of Solo Boxeo Tecate, beginning at 11:00 p.m. ET. The telecast will also feature two-time Méxican Olympian ÓSCAR VALDEZ in a six-round featherweight battle. Darchinyan and Valdez are managed by Frank Espinoza.
“Vic brings an all-action style of fighting to a very exciting boxing division,” said Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank. “I am looking forward to watching Vic bring it on May 11.”
Darchinyan (38-5-1, 27 KOs), a native of Armenia, who fights out of Sydney, Australia, was a member of Armenia’s 2000 Olympic boxing team. He won his first world title in his 22nd professional bout, knocking out undefeated International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight champion Irene Pacheco in the 11th round of their 2004 battle, ending Pacheco’s five-year reign. During his own three-year tenure as world champion, Darchinyan successfully defended his tile six times – all by stoppage – against the division’s top contenders. After losing the title to Nonito Donaire, in 2007, Darchinyan moved up in weight and claimed the IBF junior bantamweight crown, knocking out defending champion Dimitri Kirilov in the fifth round. He unified the 115 pound world titles in his next fight, knocking out World Boxing Council (WBC) / World Boxing Association (WBA) super flyweight champion Cristian Mijares in the ninth round. He successfully defended his titles three times during his two-year reign as unified super flyweight champion, including an 11th-round stoppage of Méxican icon Jorge Arce. Darchinyan vacated his titles in mid-2010 to campaign as a bantamweight, defeating former IBF bantamweight champion Yonnhy Perez, Evans Mbamba and Eric Barcelona, while losing competitive decisions to world champions Abner Mares, Joseph Agbeko and Shinsuke Yamanaka. In his last fight, which took place last September, Darchinyan made his debut as a super bantamweight, winning the NABF title by shellacking previously undefeated prospect Luis Del Valle. Darchinyan is currently world-rated No. 2 by the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and No.3 by the WBC.
Gallo (18-6-1, 10 KOs), of Tijuana, México, is a stocky brawler with an aggressive style, At the age of 29, Gallo is an eight-year pro. At his best, he pressures his opponents and wears them down. He is tough, determined and experienced against good opposition. Over one half of his victories have come by way of knockout.
Valdez (3-0, 3 KOs), of Nogales, México, represented México in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. In last year’s London Games, fighting as bantamweight, he advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to eventual Silver Medalist John Joe Nevin of Ireland, despite Nevin taking a standing 8-count in the final round from a body shot. Trained by his father, Óscar Sr., Valdez returns to the ring fresh from a fourth-round TKO victory over Carlos Gonzalez on the undercard of the March 16 Tim Bradley-Ruslan Provodnikov battle at The Home Depot Center.
Remaining tickets, priced at $15 (reserved) and $20 (box), and VIP Field Tables priced at $500 and $750 (for 10 people), can be purchased at Uni-Trade Stadium box office only. Vouchers for FREE general admission tickets are available at all participating Laredo-area Whataburger Restaurants, while supplies last.
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GARY BUCKLAND wants to secure a place in Welsh boxing history.
In recent years a number of boxers from the Principality have followed the examples of greats such as Jimmy Wilde, Percy Jones and Howard Winstone by having success at world level
Buckland, 26, believes his appearance on the undercard of Martin Murray's mammoth clash with Sergio Martinez will put him on the path towards joining that illustrious list.
The Cardiff puncher takes on highly rated Argentine Fernando David Saucedo for the vacant WBC silver super-featherweight crown and victory should move him closer to the world sanctioning body's full title.
"I've seen Tony Bellew's WBC silver belt on the TV and it looks something really special," Buckland said. "A chance to win my own has given me more reason to train hard.
"If I beat Saucedo it will also put me in line for a world title shot either later this year or in early 2014.
"Joe Calzaghe, Nathan Cleverly and Gavin Rees have all won world titles for Wales in the last few years and I want to remembered with those kinds of names."
Despite his hopes of winning global hours, Buckland insists he has no intention of giving up his British title just yet.
The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) has ordered him to defend against Grennock's tough John Simpson in a clash which gives the Welshman an opportunity to win the historic Lonsdale belt outright.
"When I first started boxing the aim was to be British champion and it'd be a dream come true to get it for keeps," Buckland stated.
"We're looking to move onto bigger things now, but I don't want to vacant the title when I'm so close to winning it outright.
"If a world title fight doesn't come straight away, I'd also like to win the European title and make a couple of defences."