Knockout Nation: Calzaghe Retires! Darchinyan Breaks Arce, Margarito Hearing, HBO B.A.D. 2/14, Ingemar Johansson

Darychinyan Scores Dominant 11th Round TKO For over 3 years, Vic Darchinyan has promised to destroy Jorge Arce. On Saturday (February 7), he delivered. In front of a mostly pro-Mexican crowd, unified super flyweight champion Vic Darchinyan (32-1-1, 26 KOs) retained his crown with a brutal TKO corner stoppage of Jorge Arce (51-5-1, 39 KOs). […]

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Darychinyan Scores Dominant 11th Round TKO For over 3 years, Vic Darchinyan has promised to destroy Jorge Arce.

On Saturday (February 7), he delivered. In front of a mostly pro-Mexican crowd, unified super flyweight champion Vic Darchinyan (32-1-1, 26 KOs) retained his crown with a brutal TKO corner stoppage of Jorge Arce (51-5-1, 39 KOs). Round 1 immediately showed the fight pattern that would be Arce’s downfall. Darchinyan kept the fight in ring center and mostly at mid-range.

Here, the much slower and lunging Arce was abused via sharp counter straight lefts and stinging uppercuts. Vic’s awkward punching angles confused Arce, who returned to his corner already cut by his right eye courtesy of the numerous bombs. In the 2nd, Darchinyan continued to bounce Arce around the ring with counter lefts. The repeated bombs made the normally aggressive Arce tentative to apply pressure.

At mid-range, the colorful Mexican remained a sitting duck and was stunned by a hard right jab, straight left combo to close out another dominant Darchinyan round. By the 3rd, Arce seemed to have finally found a rhythm. After starting off by absorbing more abuse from Darchinyan’s left hand, Arce broke through with several hard body shots followed a wild overhand hook to Vic’s head. The champion was briefly wobbled and stunned by the assault, causing a brief brawl to break out. However, the unified champ responded well via a neck snapping left uppercut and hook to the body, which backed off the game challenger.

Arce continued to apply pressure despite the danger of Darchinyan’s vicious counters. An errant left hook to the head wobbled Vic, who fired back with an uppercut to the solar plexus. Arce bravely tried to weather the storm to remain inside, but was badly hurt by another huge left uppercut. By the sixth, Arce still had not found a chance to mount a sustained offense on the inside, and continued to be dismantled on the outside with power shots. Darchinyan started the stanza with another powerful straight left that snapped back Arce’s head. Now a open book, the champion unleashed several counter right hooks and a lead uppercut. The near whitewash round was ended with another punishing straight left to Arce’s face.

For the next 3 rounds, Darchinyan continued the same merciless pounding of Arce, who could do nothing but show off a phenomenal chin as shot after shot rained in. Even when he appeared on the verge of going down, Arce would gamely hold on or charge forward to smother Darchinyan’ s debilitating offense. At the start of the 11th, a visibly dejected Arce was bleeding from cuts over his right eye, his ear, and one on the back of his head.

Seeking to close the show, Darchinyan strafed the hopeless challenger to the body with left hooks. Amazingly, Arce stubbornly continued coming forward despite receiving frightening 3 and 4 punch head-snapping combinations that staggered him around the ring. Now, there were audible murmurings from the crowd on if the outmatched Mexican could survive another beating in the final round. Before the 11th, the ringside physician took several looks at the battered Arce and decided the challenger had enough. With the emphatic win, Vic Darchinyan continues his rampage through the best of his division.

“He surprised me. I didn’t expect him to fight like he did. He’s tough and a good fighter,” Darchinyan admitted about the rival he’s disparaged for the last 3 years. “He proved to me that he was tough and a good fighter. I hit him with some good shots and he kept fighting back. I would have liked to have knocked him out cold. If the fight goes on, maybe I knock him out. But it’s ok the way it ended.”

While Darchinyan stated he would like to avenge his lone defeat to Nonito Donaire, his promoter Gary Shaw stated he would like to match his fighter against Fernando Montiel, or possibly Rafael Marquez or Israel Vazquez. For Jorge Arce, at press time the brave fighter has been hospitalized as a precautionary measure since he had trouble breathing and walking after the fight.

On the undercard, rising lightweight Antonio DeMarco (21-1-1, 15 KOs) broke down the tough Kid Diamond, aka Almazbek Raiymkulov, (27-2-1, 15 KOs) in a 9 round shootout. Diamond quit after suffering a broken nose and deep cuts in his mouth.


Joe Calzaghe Retires Undefeated

Light heavyweight champ Joe Calzaghe has ended the rumors on whether he would take the challenge of breaking Rocky Marciano’s record. This past weekend, the Welshman announced his retirement from professional boxing with an unblemished record of 46-0, 32 KOs. The Pride of Wales leaves the ring as a champion who reigned for over 10 years in the super-middleweight division.

After enduring criticisms for his lack of elite competition over the course of his career, Calzaghe finally started proving the naysayers wrong in 2006 with a master-class win over then heir apparent Jeff Lacy. From there, Calzaghe went on to rack up more legacy wins against undefeated Mikkel Kessler, Bernard Hopkins, and Roy Jones, Jr. Before the retirement, Calzaghe had one last potential challenger in Chad Dawson. Although the fight would be a great test and legacy enhancer for the Welshman, Calzaghe likely passed on it due to Dawson’s low-profile outside of hardcore fans.

Even without Dawson and a few missed fights for various reasons (Sven Ottke, Glen Johnson, Steve Collins), Calzaghe has more than proven his ability as an all-time great and as the most accomplished super-middleweight in boxing history. However, let’s not rule out Calzaghe-Dawson yet. Pending a spectacular showing from Bad Chad in his rematch with Antonio Tarver next month, Calzaghe may just have a change of heart.

Joe Calzaghe Career Highlights


Margarito Judgment Day Set for February 10


This Tuesday (February 10) Antonio Margarito and his trainer Javier Capetillo will face the California State Athletic Commission to answer charges of allegedly trying to use “plaster-like” material in the hand wraps for the January 28 bout against Shane Mosley. Both were immediately suspended following Margarito’s TKO loss, and the commission declined to comment further on the matter while the wraps were tested. Speculations from some sources have claimed that the testing will confirm that the wraps were used at least 15 times in previous bouts. If Margarito and Capetillo are found guilty, they should both be banned from boxing for life, in addition to facing criminal charges. In a sport that already requires fighters to endure inhuman punishment that will stay will them the rest of their lives, actions like this should not be accepted in any form or fashion. To date, Margarito maintains his innocence.


HBO Boxing After Dark February 14


This Saturday HBO is featuring a loaded tripleheader card for boxing fanatics. Lightweight champion Nate Campbell (32-5-1, 25 KOs) will defend his crown against the relatively unknown but dangerous Ali Funeka (30-1-2, 25 KOs). Funeka, who is freakishly tall (6’1) for a lightweight, will provide a good test for Campbell. Young destroyer Alfredo Angulo (14-0, 11 KOs) is still waiting for a confirmed opponent after Ricardo Mayorga pulled out last week over money issues. While it’s always fun to see Mayorga take a beating, Angulo should still be able to beat whomever HBO can scrap up for a last minute sub. At press time, the network rejected attempts to bring in Ishe Smith and has settled on Danny Perez (34-5, 17 KOs). Kermit Cintron (30-2, 27 KOs) seeks to make a name in the junior middleweight division when he faces fast-handed puncher Sergio Martinez (44-1-1, 24 KOs) for the WBC interim title. The card is set to begin at 10PM eastern time on February 14.


Throwback Fighter of the Week: Ingemar “Ingo” Johansson (1932-2009)


Affectionately known in his native Sweden as “Ingo,” Ingemar Johansson was one of the better heavyweight punchers of the late 50s and early 60s. Johansson began his career on a tear, racking up 14 knockouts in his first 21 bouts. Among those knockout victims were Top 10 contenders Henry Cooper and slickster Eddie Machen. This earned Johansson his first title shot against then champion Floyd Patterson in 1959. In a shocking upset, Johansson bombed out the champion with his lethal right hand in the 3rd.


Embarrassingly, Patterson was dropped 6 times in the round before the merciful stoppage. A year later, an uncharacteristically aggressive and angry Patterson enacted revenge on Ingo. This time, Patterson knocked the new champion cold with a memorable leaping left hook. The classic KO punch left Johansson out cold for 15 minutes, his left leg visibly twitching on film. Determined to regain the title, Johansson sought the sparring help of a then 18 year-old, loudmouth upstart named Cassius Clay. Clay’s help didn’t pay dividends in the deciding 1961 rubbermatch of the trilogy. Visibly out of shape, Johansson was still able to secure 2 knockdowns in the 1st round. But Patterson weathered the early storm and scored his own knockdown with his signature left hook.


Without the stamina to keep up his punch output, Johansson succumbed to Patterson’s combinations in the 6th. Johansson would fight 2 more years, winning all 3 of his fights, before retiring in 1963. He became a close friend of Floyd Patterson, and the two men would visit twice a year in each other’s native country. The former champ went on to remain active with boxing promotion, conventions, marathon running, and several Swedish films. By the late 90s, complications from Alzheimer’s and dementia confined the former champ from most of his extracurricular activities. On January 30, 2009, he died from pneumonia. Ingemar Johansson is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, with a final record of 26-2, 17 KOs.


Johansson vs. Machen

Johansson Tribute

Part 2