Frances Martel


Union City, NJ- “Big things come in small packages” is probably Vic Darchinyan’s (30-1-1, 24 KOs) least favorite American cliche. After all, as former IBF flyweight (112 lbs.) champion and current IBF champion in the super flyweight (115) division, it pretty accurately describes a career that could very well be the boxing equivalent of a minefield. His fights tend to end in dramatic fashion, whether halting opponent Victor Burgos (39-15-3, 23 KOs) or having his memory erased by current IBF flyweight champ Nonito Donaire (19-1, 12 KOs). And in terms of big fights, his chance at another IBF championship against then incumbent Dimitri Kirilov (29-4-1, 9 KOs) was the most important hurdle since his last and only loss so far. As ever, he refused to break with tradition, asserting himself strikingly in five rounds.


For those that had never before seen Kirilov in the ring, last Saturday night did not give too many hints as to what style he prefers, since he optimized his defense in a manner that gave little in the way of, well, punching. Nicknamed “The Baby” for his small frame and striking resemblance to the requisite infant that all destitute countrywomen must cling to in Ingmar Bergman films, he appears to be a demure type. He rejects flair for its own sake, replacing it with a much more technical and thought-out manner of inhabiting the ring. For bloodthirst he substitutes will power and slow but sure attacks. Among his fortes he can count a very strong chin and a collectiveness that allows him to stick to the game plan no matter how wild his opponent may be acting. In other words, Kirilov is in almost every way the anti-Darchinyan. Those that picked the Armenian-Australian against him did so ignoring the fact that Kirilov resembles Nonito Donaire in fashion much more than he does any of Darchinyan’s other opponents.

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