February 6, 2009
By Steve Galindo III
Current IBF, WBA, and WBC Jr. Bantamweight titlist, Armenian Vic “Raging Bull” Darchinyan wants to make one thing real clear. He has no problems with Mexicans; he just has no respect for his Mexican opponents. His opponent for his fight tomorrow night at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Jorge “Travieso” Arce is no exception.
Vic Darchinyan, (31-1-1,25 KOs) and Jorge Arce (51-4-1,39KOs) have been on a collision course for years, with both men having established themselves as two of the best “little men” in boxing. The fact that there is genuine bad blood between the two, fueled by the recent comments by Darchin-yan makes this fight a potential candidate for fight-of-the-year.
When the match with Arce was first signed, Darchinyan pulled no punches in expressing his feelings towards facing another Mexican fighter. “I can’t get enough of Mexican fighters. They bounce real good off the canvas when I hit them.” Vic then belittled his future opponent by stating “Defeating Arce won’t take that much training. It won’t even be a fight for me-more like pest control. I’m going to swat that Spanish fly. Arce is going to be my human piñata. Our fight will be like a Chihuahua against a bull.. a raging bull.”
With impressive knock-out victories over Mexico’s Luis Maldonado, Victor Burgos, and former champion Cristian Mijares, the raging bull would love nothing more than to follow in the footsteps of current pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao, in becoming the sports next “Mexecutioner.” But Unlike Pacquiao, Darchinyan is a hated man in the eyes of many Mexicans. His psychological warfare has not only gotten inside the head of Arce, but it has seeped into the minds of the Mexican contingent.
Despite Darchinyan’s comments, his promoter Gary Shaw assures that Vic has no hatred towards the Mexican people. In a recent conference call, Shaw addressed the issue by stating
“Vic absolutely does not hate Mexicans. Vic just happens to be the Mexican assassin and knocks them off in the ring, but there is no hate. We don’t talk about Mexicans when we are sitting having dinner, or having fun. This has nothing to do with the Mexican people at all, or anybody disliking Mexicans.”
Arce’s road to redemption
High atop the cold mountains of Temoaya, just outside of Mexico City, is where Jorge “Travieso” Arce has been preparing for the biggest fight of his thirteen year career. Training 3,000 feet above sea level is no easy task for anybody, but Jorge Arce has never done things the easy way.
One of Mexico’s most beloved fighters, Arce has built his reputation on being a blood and guts fighter, a crowd pleaser. “I go out there and do my job, which is give and take punches, it’s what people like. I never surrender- I never give up, if I get knocked down..I get up, and if I get cut…I like it. I like it when people make me bleed, when people make me bleed it makes me more aggressive” stated Arce.
Although he has been hard at work in Mexico, Arce is well aware of Darchinyan’s comments. According to his trainer, Tiburcio Garcia the words have motivated his pupil like never before. In an interview with the Mexican newspaper ESTO, Garcia stated
“On very few occasions, have I seen him so motivated to win a fight. Jorge has been very driven by Darchinyan’s insults, he has offended Mexican boxing… Jorge will seek vengeance.” To help Arce prepare for the fight, Garcia enlisted the help of fighters Omar Chavez, (son of Julio Cesar Chavez) and undefeated flyweight Hernan “Tyson” Marquez.
Despite being victorious in his last five outings, and tasting defeat only once in the past nine years, Arce finds himself in an unfamiliar position. As the underdog. The consensus being that Arce’s last defeat came two years ago in a lopsided loss to Cristian Mijares, the same Mijares that was brutally destroyed in nine rounds by Vic Darchinyan.
For Arce, the loss to Mijares was a devastating blow that has haunted him to this day. “ I had been compared to Chavez, and when I lost to Mijares, people stopped believing in me, because I looked bad, I had a bad night. With, this fight, I will knock out the man who knocked out Mijares, and I will prove that the fight against Mijares was just a bad night.”
With the recent loses of Cristian Mijares, Oscar De La Hoya, and Antonio Margarito, tomorrow night will be a chance for Arce to pick up the banner, and restore the rich tradition of Mexican boxing.
Showtime Championship Boxing presents Vic “Raging Bull” Darchinyan vs Jorge “Travieso” Arce tomorrow night at 9PM ET/PT