Vic Darchinyan’s prospects of winning his world title bout against unbeaten Mexican Abner Mares next month were boosted after the bout was switched from Mexico to California because of security concerns.
Darchinyan’s IBO bantamweight title defence is part of a four-man tournament, which also features a bout on the same card between Colombia’s IBF bantamweight world title-holder Yonnhy Perez and Ghana’s Joseph Agbeko.
The promotion, which will still proceed on December 12 AEDT, was originally scheduled for the Mexican city of Leon.
While no official reason has been announced for the switch, it is understood concerns over safety and security caused by recent instances of violence in Mexico prompted the move.
The card is now expected to end up at a venue in Los Angeles.
The Darchinyan camp was pleased by the news as it also meant fewer flights, no visa paperwork and significantly more fan support for their fighter.
“It was going to be pretty daunting, having no fans there (in Mexico), it’s a huge boost for us with it being in the US,” Darchinyan’s manager Elias Nassar told AAP.
“Vic is outspoken at a press conference, anything could’ve happened to him. He’s not exactly the quietest person.”
Nassar said he knew of at least 70 Australians who would now attend the fight, while Armenian-born Darchinyan could also expect plentiful support from that country’s large expatriate population in California.
Ironically, Los Angeles would probably represent a home-away-from-home for Mares, who resides in California and has had most of his recent professional fights in that state.