ESPN.com is reporting that a 115-pound title unification bout between Cristian Mijares (WBC/WBA) and Vic Darchinyan (IBF) will take place on November 1 on Showtime, the result of a lot of forces coming together to fill an open date on the schedule.
Kudos to Showtime, both fighters, and promoters Lou DiBella and Gary Shaw for getting this deal done. There had been rumblings of the fight being held off until 2009, but instead of taking stay-busy fights, the two titleholders will just go right at each other.
Shaw said even though Darchinyan (30-1-1, 24 KOs), an Armenian based in Australia, would be the underdog, he really wanted the fight.
"I believe Mijares has the upper hand. He's very tough and a very accurate puncher, but I have a very determined guy. This is not a fight that would be my first choice but I have at least 30 e-mails from Darchinyan telling me to get him Mijares. It's really refreshing that a fighter would want a tough fight of this magnitude. There are others who would say, 'Get me some money and an easier fight.' But Vic has a lot of confidence. He says, 'When I knock out Mijares, line up [Nonito] Donaire next, I owe him one.'"
One thing I will give Darchinyan credit for is guts, because there are few that are going to think he can beat the slick, classy Mijares, who is on a hell of a tear right now. It's also probably a pipe dream, getting a rematch with Donaire, who won't soon be in a rush to put money in the pocket of Gary Shaw, the promoter he left on less than amicable terms.
But it's a fight that promises action, even if Mijares dominates the brawling, unorthodox Darchinyan with his speed and technical ability, as I expect he will. It would be the first time in the history of the 115-pound division that any man has held three major titles at once, no matter who wins, and will be only the third unification bout in the division's history, too. The first came in 1997, when Johnny Tapia fought Danny Romero, and the second came earlier this year, when Mijares beat Alexander Munoz.
After these guys do business, maybe a full unification with WBO titleholder Fernando Montiel will be in the offing. Montiel is slated to face Z Gorres on December 13 in Macau.
The Mijares-Darchinyan undercard will feature a TV fight between Andre Dirrell (16-0, 11 KO) and Victor Oganov (28-1, 28 KO), whose perfect 26-fight, 26-knockout streak was ended last September by Fulgencio Zuniga, who battered him en route to a ninth round TKO. Dirrell will be a favorite, but don't discount the powerful Oganov, even though he's never beaten anyone of any merit.