Australian-based Armenian boxer Vic Darchinyan is burning to avenge the only knockout loss of his illustrious career when he fights Filipino star Nonito Donaire on Sunday afternoon (AEDT).
The pair meet in Corpus Christi, Texas, in a 10-round featherweight rematch of former world champions trying to revive their careers.
Donaire stopped Armenia’s Darchinyan in the fifth round in 2007 at Bridgeport, Connecticut to claim the International Boxing Federation flyweight title, his first world title and Darchinyan’s first career defeat.
Six years later, Darchinyan wants to avenge the loss that ended his 2 1/2-year flyweight reign and put himself in the world title picture after losses in two of his past four fights.
“After I beat Nonito the champions will want to fight me,” said Darchinyan, a former world champion in three divisons.
“I will stop him. I want to show the world it’s not about him. It’s about me. I have the skill. I have the power. I’m prepared mentally against him. I know everything he is going to do and when he comes I’m going to demolish him.
“I’m very motivated for this fight. I lost to him.”
Donaire, 31-2 with 20 knockouts, tries to bounce back from his first defeat in 12 years, a unanimous-decision loss last April to unbeaten Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux in a super bantamweight world title bout.
“The motivation is definitely back,” Donaire said. “I just realised I want to box. After the loss I realised I want to be in this game as long as I can.”
Darchinyan, 39-5 with one draw and 28 knockouts, has gone 11-4 with a draw since losing to Donaire, who turns 31 a week after facing the 37-year-old Armenian.
“This isn’t about age. it’s about how confident you are with your training for the fight,” Darchinyan said. “I’ve trained very well for this fight. I have waited a long time for this fight. It doesn’t matter how old I am.”
Darchinyan said he lacked patience in 2007 after winning his 10 prior fights inside the distance and was tagged with a left hook he dubbed a lucky punch that knocked him down for the first time in his career.
“I had never experienced a knockdown. I jumped up straight away,” he said.
“If I take a couple seconds and recover, it would be the more smarter play. Now I’m a different fighter. I’m smarter. Now I have more experience with being knocked down.
“I want to show I have skills and power and that I can do something big.”