While he waits for a bigger fight to come along in the crowded bantamweight division, Vic Darchinyan will return to the ring on September 3 with a homecoming fight in Armenia, facing South African southpaw Evans Mbamba.
Mbamba (18-1, 9 KO) was lined up as Darchinyan's mandatory in 2009, but Darchinyan (36-3-1, 27 KO) instead moved up to bantamweight to face Joseph Agbeko. Darchinyan lost that fight, and has since also lost to Abner Mares, but was competitive in both bouts and in April, stormed through Yonnhy Perez on Showtime to win the consolation fight in the network's bantamweight tournament. Mbamba, meanwhile, faced Tomas Rojas in October 2009 and was blown out in Mexico, floored twice and losing wide on the scorecards.
The 35-year-old Darchinyan is probably hoping to land a rematch with the winner of the Agbeko vs Mares Showtime tournament final fight (August 13), but in the meantime will take this as an interim fight to stay sharp. Mbamba is moving up to bantamweight for the first time, and while he likely doesn't pose a legitimate threat to Darchinyan, this is a better fight than what was rumored for Darchinyan in Yerevan on the same date. Previously, Darchinyan was supposedly set to face Namibia's Paulus Ambunda (15-0, 9 KO).