Frances Martel

Danish boxer Mikkel Kessler celebrates defending his WBA super-middleweight title after the fight against Germany’s Danilo Haeussler in the northern German city of Oldenburg on October 25, 2008. Kessler won the bout with a knock out in the third round. Photo: PHILIPP GUELLAND/AFP/Getty Images


Cambridge, MA- Congratulations, boxing fans! It seems that the almost-unanimous rejection of the heavyweight division from the savvy observer for the past seven years has engendered a fully palpable response from the bigwigs over at our favorite boxing channels. Both the PPV gods and the laymen at Showtime are offering a palate of the most exquisite sampling of fighters from the lower divisions on November 1st, casting aside their usual “bigger is better” mentality to bring us the biggest things in smallest packages. The VIP lineup next Saturday ranges from Nonito Donaire (19-1, 12 KOs) to Jorge Arce (50-4-1, 38 KOs), to the most competitive fight of the night, Vic Darchinyan’s (30-1-1, 24 KOs) comeback tour marquee against WBC-WBA junior bantamweight (115 lbs) champion Christian Mijares (36-3-1, 15 KOs).


None of these four stars will be fighting above 115 lbs (at least officially), yet the distribution of these fighters within their respective weights seems to defy the logic that has been built up through watching their trajectory for the past few years. For one, the smallest man of the bunch, Vic Darchinyan, is fighting at the highest weight, challenging the slightly larger Mijares on his own junior bantamweight turf. Yes, 115 lbs is not all that much of a change from 112 lbs, but at such a small weight, those pounds do make a difference. Even if the pounds themselves don’t, it seems strange that Darchinyan refused to learn his lesson from his encounter with the younger Donaire (who shares the same body dimensions as Mijares)- Darchinyan is way too small of a man to ever win in a fight with anyone remotely larger if he does not significantly strengthen his defense. At the rate he is going and at his +30 years of age, it is difficult to teach an old dog new tricks, and the fact that Nonito Donaire is fighting on a PPV card the same night a division below him could very well be a slap in the face to the Armenian’s brazenness (or what some would dare call stupidity).


The greatest issue in Darchinyan’s career is his size, and how he coordinates it with his defense. He has an extraordinary punch- one that has carried him extremely far- and as long as his opponent gives him free reign to land his hooks, he has no reason to fear. To think that everyone at the world-class level at which he is fighting now would allow him to get away with landing the best punches in his repertoire repeatedly is ridiculous, and so this is where his defense has to play in and keep him safe while he thinks of a way to land it. Traditionally, Darchinyan’s defense has consisted almost exclusively on the eccentricity of his stance- feet wide apart, hunched forward, with his arms before him almost as if he was carrying a rifle. The element of surprise that helped confuse opponents into losses for so long, however, was completely eradicated with Nonito Donaire’s defeat of him. Nonito cracked the code, simply by being patient, understanding this stance, and finding the many holes in this defensive mechanism.

Read Full Story at Ringtalk.com.


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