Say what you will about Vic Darchinyan being the prototypical Aussie bullyboy, but he never gave up wanting to rematch his first career loss to Nonito Donaire, a devastating highlight reel knockout for the ages. The rematch will be Saturday, November 9th in Corpus Christi, Texas. This will also be something of a comeback fight for Donaire who suddenly went from being the toasted P4P darling in the fashion of fellow Filipino Manny Pacquiao to boxing’s “Who knows ya and wadda ya done lately kid?”
Darchinyan was a tiger at 28-0, 22 KO who had the boxing world by the throat going into that first Donaire fight. He left the fight in tatters after scary minutes on the canvas in recovery from Donaire’s perfect counter left hook. Raging Bull was born to fight though and has been in against top competition since then, as good as any fighter currently operating, but things didn’t always go his way as his current 39-5-1 record attests. Yet that sole KO loss burned ever so brightly as a brand on his soul that he had a fever to avenge, so finally, here we are.
As to the recent Donaire downfall, he mysteriously fell apart during the leadup before his last fight, a dastardly loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux. Reports had him being mostly self trained with Robert Garcia phoning in a some instructions before compounding his dissolution by divorcing his BALCO associated physical trainer Victor Conte. Reduced boxing preparations on top of being deprived of those secret magic potions left Donaire very vulnerable with his expectant wife as his only soulmate going into a difficult fight. Indeed, the focus in interviews seemed to be Donaire’s preoccupation with the development of his son and his wife’s health, not his chosen profession.
He looked foolish trying to chase down the rapidly fleeing Rigondeaux as any fighter might appear and was additionally ill prepared for those moments when it came time to trade punches. Though he came to held his own as he adapted to the wily Rigondeaux, he was well off his 2012 Fighter of the Year form. In the 10th round insult would be added to injury when he wasn’t credited by referee Benjy Esteves Jr. with two clean consecutive knockdowns that would have put him up on the two close cards with more impetus going into the last two rounds. Instead he was only credited with one knockdown and completely gave up the last round to protect his damaged eye.
To add intrigue to this rematch, Donaire has recently made amends with his dad who happened to be in his corner when he avenged the brutal loss by his brother Glenn to Darchinyan. A nasty dispute later separated the family as the Nonito star ascended, but now Dad is splitting duties with Garcia in the lead up to the rematch. How the “co-training” works for Nonito is unknown, however on his worst night Donaire could have won his last fight but for poor circumstances, thus he will be the odds on favorite.
Darchinyan may be near the end of his career at almost 38 years of age, but he recently signed a deal with Top Rank to make this fight, so it’s impossible to measure the boost that this opportunity may bring him. He operates out of an awkward lobster like southpaw style and it’s not like he has ever been terribly outclassed in the ring save that thunderous night against Donaire.
Now both are in a different place looking a bit vulnerable, but you can bet on seeing a genuine fight.