Donnybrook would be too tame a description for this fight. War and bloodbath would be more appropriate. Just as Vasquez and Marquez set the bar for quality of competition last year, so too have these bantam-weighted warriors done the same tonight.
It was a battle that unraveled in three acts that spanned eleven rounds of shear brutality. The outcome was decided on nothing more than will, heart, and a superhuman capacity for pain.
Although diminutive in size, Vic Darchinyan and Jorge Arce proved once again, that it is not the size of the dog in the fight that counts, but more the size of the fight in the dog.
The first act consisted of rounds one through four. The opening stanzas were sea-saw back and forth carnage with each combatant giving as good as he got. These rounds were reminiscent of Hagler-Hearns or Dempsey-Firpo.
Although Darchinyan swept these rounds on many observes scorecards, they were extremely close and only late round rallies by the champion gave him the scores.
Act II was rounds five through seven. Darchinyan solidly won these rounds, but at a cost. He would batter Arce about the ring and just as it looked like the Mexican warrior would go down, he would emerge from his defensive shell to land a few meaningful shots of his own, even staggering Darchinyan once or twice.
Arce’s moment came during this phase when he landed a viscous left hook to the body that gave the battling Armenian more than pause for thought.
Act III was the dramatic conclusion. Rounds eight through eleven belonged solely to Darchinyan. And although Arce still had his moments, he suffered a beating as mean and damaging as any this writer has seen.
Arce seemed out on his feet through these rounds, but Darchinyan had punched the Mexican warrior so many times that Arce was tiring Darchinyan out just by staying on his feet and absorbing his punches.
After round 10, both fighters were spent. Darchinyan, however, captured a second wind and in the closing moments of the eleventh, he pummeled Arce mercilessly into submission.
In between rounds, Arce’s corner and the ring doctor realized that victory was not possible and decided that it would be dangerous to send Arce out to absorb more punishment. It was the right thing to do.
These two fighters may not possess polished skill, mainstream name recognition, or even a popular weight division, but they displayed the valuable assets in boxing this night. Each fighter may only weigh 115 pounds, but at least 110 pounds of that is heart.