Promoters Gary Shaw and Lou DiBella are trying to figure out a way to pit 115-pound titleholders Cristian Mijares and Vic Darchinyan on Showtime before the year is out, according to ESPN's Dan Rafael.
As Rafael says, though, the fall schedule is "jammed" and December is typically a half-month at best with the holidays. It probably means that the fight won't get made, particularly since the only network showing any interest is Showtime, which has long worked closely with Shaw and featured Darchinyan on several occasions. Showtime is trying to find a way to work it in during November.
HBO apparently has "no interest" in the bout, which says a lot about some of HBO's decision-making, frankly. "Pavlik against Gary Lockett? Sure! Mosley-Judah? Sure! Hey -- why not on pay-per-view?! But this Mijares-Darchinyan bout? Screw that."
To be fair, Mijares has no star power in America and Darchinyan's is limited, plus dates aren't easy to come by and neither is money, which is probably the REAL factor here, but hey, why not lob a few shots at some of these cards for kicks and giggles?
It's an interesting fight, sort of, until you really think about it. The last time Mijares faced a predictable brawler, he beat popular Mexican star Jorge Arce to a bloody pulp and dominated him over 12 rounds. Darchinyan slapped Dimitri Kirilov last month, but Kirilov is not nearly the fighter Mijares is.
If a fight can't be made, both sides would still look to get one more fight in before 2008 closes and then meet in the first quarter of 2009, most likely. Mijares would reportedly face Jose "Carita" Lopez on an Integrated Sports PPV on November 29, which would be yet another questionable opponent on his record sheet. Lopez is 36 years old with a career record of 37-7-2 (31 knockouts), but it's worth saying that he's got sort of that Margarito/Soto/Baldomir thing going on, because he hasn't lost since 2001, when a young Fernando Montiel beat him. Montiel was 22 at the time, and making his third defense of the WBO flyweight title.
If nothing else, Lopez might be a step up from the likes of the faded Chatchai Sasakul or the laughably horrible Franck Gorjux. But it does make you question, if even a bit, Mijares' rocket rise on a lot of P4P lists. Is he REALLY that good? Is he really better than Paul Williams or Shane Mosley or a lot of other guys?
Hey, he did beat Alexander Munoz, a good fighter, and he slaughtered Arce in one of 2007's most impressive beatings. I don't question his goodness; I question his greatness. And am willing to have it proven that he is, in fact, a great fighter. I got no problem being wrong. ("That's good, since you're an idiot.") Hey!
If Mijares-Darchinyan gets done, it's a credit to the two promoters and Showtime for working hard to give us a fight we'd all like to see. Though I have to seriously favor the smarter, more dynamic, and ultra-tough Mijares, Darchinyan is still a heavy hitter and presents a threat to anyone if he can land a couple of those windmills.