Vic Darchinyan has waited a long time to get a rematch with Nonito Donaire (or so the narrative goes), but he says he's only available to face Donaire on November 9 on HBO if the fight is at a catchweight of 123 or 124 pounds, and not at the featherweight limit of 126.
Donaire is returning to HBO on that date in a doubleheader that will also feature Mikey Garcia, and has recently indicated that his comeback fight will be fought at 126 pounds, Darchinyan, 37, last fought on May 11, when he made his Top Rank debut with a TKO-4 win over Javier Gallo on Solo Boxeo Tecate on UniMas. Last September, Darchinyan made his HBO debut when he beat prospect Luis Orlando Del Valle in an impressive minor upset.
Darchinyan (39-5-1, 28 KO) has had limited success over 115 pounds, though he's never looked washed up or like he can't fight. His power hasn't translated since his days as a demolition man at 112 pounds, where he looked like a tank compared to his foes until he was smashed by a Donaire left hook on July 7, 2007 (sevens weren't lucky for Vic).
Since then, a Donaire-Darchinyan rematch has been negotiated several times, never coming to fruition. Both fighters have jawed about wanting the fight, but they haven't made it happen. There have been promotional disputes and pay concerns and whatever else. It just hasn't happened.
Now may be the perfect time, with Donaire (31-2-1, 18 KO) reeling from a rather humbling loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux in April, which exposed many of his limitations and has sent him into something of a shame spiral, making loads of excuses about his poor performance and WITH ALL DUE RESPECT to Rigondeaux outclassing him, it wasn't exciting or whatever, not like Nonito's thrilling wins over Nishioka or Vazquez or Mathebula or whatever. Now those were FOTY candidates!
Anyway, the point is, Darchinyan, a small, old fighter that Donaire already dominated once, would be a good foil for Donaire's comeback on paper. But Vic isn't going to just serve himself up for it, either. As much as he might want the fight, he's at 122 now, which is really pushing it for his body, and Donaire is looking to come back at 126. If they could meet in the middle at 124, hell, I'd take it. Few things are more entertaining than a disgruntled Vic Darchinyan trying to knock someone's head off, and it's always fun to watch Donaire crack physically overmatched dudes with sweet counter shots, too. Win-win. I like it. Whatever happens, happens.
It probably won't happen. It never has before.