Vic Darchinyan will fulfill a long time ambition and create a bit of boxing history, by making a world title defense against South African Evans Mbamba in his birth country of Armenia next month.
Sydney-based Darchinyan, who relocated to Australia after representing Armenia in the 2000 Olympics, hasn’t fought in his homeland for the best part of 13 years since his amateur days.
The 35 year-old puts his IBO bantamweight belt on the line against South African southpaw Evans Mbamba, 29, at the Karen Demirchyan Sports Complex in Yerevan as the’ Raging Bull’ eyes another crack at Nonito Donaire in the future.
Darchinyan was stopped in five rounds by the unified champion in Connecticut four years ago and was on the verge of earning a rematch with the ‘Filipino Flash’ until Abner Mares decisioned him controversially in December last year. His IBO bantamweight fight with southpaw Mbamba will take place in the Armenian capital of Yerevan on September 3. It will be the first professional boxing promotion to be staged in Armenia.
Australian citizen Darchinyan has called on the expertise of officials from his adopted country to help establish a proper boxing commission in the land of his birth.
“It’s been an absolutely titanic setup,” Darchinyan’s manager Elias Nassar told AAP.
“We had the more cost effective options of bringing Germans in, Russians, Georgians, Polish, but Vic insisted that the only commission that will take the control of the whole thing and set up a commission in Armenia is the Australian boxing commission. “Because of that, seven very good officials are taking care of the whole thing over there.”
Darchinyan, Nassar and American promoter Gary Shaw will co-promote the show, which is expected to go close to drawing a capacity crowd.
“It’s a state of the art arena that holds about 12,000 people,” Nassar said.
“It’s like a diamond pod out of the movie Avatar.”
Darchinyan has been back in Armenia training for the past eight weeks, but the reaction to his presence has already forced him to move camp once.
“It was overwhelming, in Yerevan, and he moved camp into the mountains, so he got away from everyone and everything,” Nassar said. “There was no phone contact really for the last four to five weeks.”
Darchinyan has been sparring with two imported American southpaws.
Mbamba is ranked in the top 15 of the WBA, WBC and IBF at super flyweight.
He was in line to fight Darchinyan in that division, but Darchinyan later moved up to bantamweight.
His only loss was a points decision for the WBA interim super flyweight title to Mexican Tomas Rojas, who Darchinyan demolished in two rounds less than two months later.
“He (Mbamba) is a really slick boxer with a very good trainer in Nick Durandt,” Darchinyan’s trainer Angelo Hyder told AAP. If Darchinyan is successful against Mbamba, he will probably fight in the United States in November or December. He will seek a second fight with Nonito Donaire or Jorge Arce, or move up to featherweight.