Six years later and 14 pounds heavier, Vic “The Raging Bull” Darchinyan finally got his rematch with Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire.
Unfortunately, though the fight played out much differently, it ended the same way, as Donaire’s left hook led him to victory, as the fight was stopped at the 2:06 mark of the ninth round Saturday night in Corpus Christi, TX. as part of an “HBO Boxing” triple header.
A pair of big left hooks sandwiched around a straight right led to Donaire (32-2, 21 knockouts) knocking down Darchinyan (39-6-1, 29 KOs) in the ninth. On wobbly legs, the always game Darchinyan, who now trains out of the Glendale Fighting Club, returned to his feet, but not long after, a barrage of Donaire lefts signaled the stoppage of the featherweight (126 pounds) bout scheduled for 10 rounds.
Perhaps most frustratingly, the bout, which saw both tentative at times, but throwing punches with bad intentions, was in Darchinyan’s favor heading into the ninth round, as the longtime Australian resident was ahead, 78-74, on two cards, while the third was 74-74.
In 2007, Donaire knocked out Darchinyan with a huge left hook in the fifth round of their flyweight title fight.
This time around, under new trainer Edmond Tarverdyan of Glendale, the plan was to box and, for the most part, Darchinyan outboxed Donaire, particularly in the middle to late rounds.
But, Darchinyan’s aggressive style, which has earned him a Hall of Fame career, was also his undoing once more as Donaire caught him coming in once again.
The opening round started tentatively and likely went to Donaire, but Darchinyan punctuated it with an overhand left to end it.
A good one-two by Donaire staggered Darchinyan late in the second round, but Darchinyan quickly landed a left cross that also stunned Donaire. Donaire was still more active and accurate, though.
In the third, Darchinyan would land solidly, but Donaire was still out-boxing him and more active.
The fourth really turned up the action as Darchinyan landed a solid left that ignited a wild exchange in which the two either missed wildly or landed terrifically.
Darchinyan continued to box well and landed a great overhand left and pushed Donaire back to the ropes to end the fifth round with a big flurry.
Darchinyan was more active, aggressive and pressured in a sixth that featured another good exchange. Darchinyan likely won the round, but was also reverting back a bit to his brawling ways.
By the seventh round, the bout and momentum seemed to be firmly in the direction of Darchinyan. He was more active yet again, throwing combinations and taking the center of the ring, while Donaire did little in return and threw single punches throughout.
Darchinyan was continually more active in the eighth round, picking his shots rather carefully and out-boxing Donaire.