Vic Darchinyan vs. Abner Mares: Round by Round Recap

Nick TylwalkCorrespondent IDecember 12, 2010

LOS ANGELES - AUGUST 27:  Abner Mares celebrates his victory against opponent Carlos Fulgencio on August 27, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jacob de Golish/Getty Images)
Jacob de Golish/Getty Images

Tacoma, Washington is playing host to Showtime's bantamweight tournament, which starts tonight with two fights that appear to be very even on paper. Steve Albert, Antonio Tarver and Al Bernstein are on hand to call all of the action.

Tarver and Bernstein talk up the youthful upside of Abner Mares and the experience of Yonnhy Perez, Vic Darchinyan and Joseph Agbeko. A video package gives the viewers some background on all four men.

Mares walks to the ring first, sporting a cool looking skull bandana. Just 25, the former Mexican Olympian is 20-0-1, with his lone draw coming against Perez in his last fight.

The Raging Bull, Darchinyan, makes his ring walk second and sounds like he has some fans in attendance in the relatively small venue. Vic has a career record of 35-2-1, and though he has displayed serious power at lower weights, he has yet to translate it to bantamweight.

Jimmy Lennon Jr. does his typically classy job with the fighter introductions, and we are set for a scheduled 12 rounds of bantamweight action.


Round One

Darchinyan comes right across the ring but both men settle down quickly. Mares bounces and tries to jab. Darchinyan gets in the first straight left. Mares ducks in and tries some short shots. Two nice rights connect for Mares as he comes forward. Mares may be bleeding a bit from the forehead, perhaps from a clash of heads. Mares gets in one last right in a tight first round.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Mares


Round Two

Mares looks to the body early and complains about low shots from Darchinyan. Darchinyan is keeping his right hand high for now. Mares peppers Darchinyan after he rushes in. Darchinyan connects with a left out of nowhere and Mares is down. It was a flash knockdown, though, and he seems fine. Interesting turn of events as he was probably winning the round to that point. Another solid left by Darchinyan amidst an exchange. Mares scores with his right in the closing seconds.

Tylwalk: 10-8 Darchinyan


Round Three

Darchinyan lands some two-punch combos but Mares shrugs them off and attacks with his right hand. The ref warns Mares for straying below the belt. Darchinyan whacks away with his right hook and straight left. Mares seems to be loading up, which may not be his best bet. Blood is streaming down Mares' face again as well. Mares gets the better of a brief exchange, though Darchinyan crashes home a left right at the bell.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Darchinyan


Round Four

Abner's cut is high but looks very big. He comes out and stuns Vic a bit with a right hand. There's a left by Darchinyan. Two body shots by Mares answer a head shot from Vic. Mares settles for a moment behind his jab. Mares rushes in with a flurry, but the crowd boos as the ref takes a point away from him for low blows. Mares goes to the body and head before a clinch. His right is landing more often now. The ref cautions both men for their in-fighting tactics.

Tylwalk: 9-9


Round Five

The crowd tries to get Mares going as he absorbs two left hands from his foe. Nice uppercuts from Mares with both hands. He lands multiple right hands that force Darchinyan to bounce around. Darchinyan uses his right hook and gets warned about using his right forearm to push Mares away. Both men land power shots as they decide to stand and trade. Nasty left hands by Darchinyan, but Mares answers with the right. Good stuff in this round.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Mares


Round Six

Mares is landing more combinations while Darchinyan is using mostly single shots. Mares batters Darchinyan in the corner with body shots and uppercuts. Darchinyan has to hold on, but he measures a solid left. Mares finds a home for his counter left hook. More left hooks by Mares in tight. Darchinyan leans in with another straight left. Mares weaves in and gets his left uppercut in again. Darchinyan lands a thunderous left hand, but Mares takes it well. There's another smoking left, forcing Mares to show off his strong chin.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Mares


Round Seven

Darchinyan sneaks in a right hook as he tries to stick and move. Mares responds with a flurry from both hands. Darchinyan lands a left but Mares' counter puts Darchinyan down. That looked like a flash knockdown too, but it still counts. Darchinyan goes back to his bread and butter with straight lefts. Mares forces his man back with a jab and into a clinch. Good power shots from both men in the final seconds.

Tylwalk: 10-8 Mares


Round Eight

Replays showed that the knockdown call was correct even though Darchinyan was not hurt by the punch last round. Mares hitting and holding a bit on the inside. Hooks and a straight right from Mares. Darchinyan gets his left untracked again. Strong right-left combo from Darchinyan, but Mares answers right away with a counter hook. Uppercut by Darchinyan with his back to the ropes. Darchinyan smokes another left right down the pike and mixes in a jab. Lefts to the body and head from Mares. Hopping left hands from Darchinyan.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Darchinyan


Round Nine

Mares scores first with hooks and body blows. He's fired up now as his corner told him he needs to win rounds. Big right to the head by Mares amidst an exchange. The ref warns Mares for hitting behind the head. Left to the head and a low right hand by Mares. Darchinyan finally responds with a right hook. The action turns choppy as the ref has to pull them apart. Both men score in the center of the ring, but Mares gets more work done.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Mares


Round 10

Mares' corner once again told him the fight is very close. Mares is still looking to the body when they are at close range. He's getting his hands free just enough as clinches break out repeatedly. Darchinyan bounces in with a left hand. The action is coming in spurts, which would seem to favor Darchinyan, but Mares is scoring more consistently. Mares punctuates his round with a solid right hook.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Mares


Round 11

This thing could very well be up for grabs in the championship rounds. It's Darchinyan's single shots versus his opponent's combo punching again. Mares connects with a right hand and a body shot. Darchinyan paws with short shots. There's a left from Darchinyan. Mares scores with a hook and both men swing away with 40 seconds to go. Darchinyan is swinging for the fences but not landing flush.

Tylwalk: 10-9 Mares


Round 12

Three minutes to go, and it may be on the line here. Hooks fly both ways. Mares doing anything possible to touch Darchinyan. Mares has the quicker hands and is trying to overwhelm Darchinyan. Darchinyan loads up a left uppercut which partially connects. Mares keeps coming, throwing with both hands. Darchinyan goes to the body and lands a right hook. Mares responds in kind. Darchinyan scores with a heavy left hand. There's another left from Darchinyan. They fight to the final bell, and we'll go to the cards.

Tylwalk: 10-10

Tylwalk: 115-111 Mares

The judges score it 115-111 Darchinyan, 115-112 Mares and 115-111 Mares. The winner by split decision is Abner Mares.

Steve Farhood gets a word with Mares, who isn't surprised it was a split decision but does feel he pulled it out by closing strong. He says his plan was to push Darchinyan back regardless, not just because he suffered the early knockdown.

Mares gives Darchinyan credit for his power but feels his body work was the difference. Looking ahead to the final, he wants a rematch with Perez while admitting it would be a tough fight against either man.

Darchinyan is obviously disappointed and voices his displeasure with the refereeing. Darchinyan does say he faded a bit down the stretch but thinks he was ahead until the last couple of rounds.

Darchinyan thought he could take Mares out with an uppercut but says again that the referee would not let him fight the way he wanted.

Nick Tylwalk is the editor and co-founder of Follow his Twitter feed @Nick_Tylwalk or the site's feed @boxing_watchers.