Boxing: Armenian lefty gains the upper hand in the match-up of two southpaw sluggers

Armenian boxing champion Vic Darchinyan survived the early onslaught from his Mexican challenger Tomas Rojas in the first round of a dramatic world-title fight on Saturday only to knock his opponent out with a chin-busting left hook in the second to retain his WBC/WBA super flyweight belts.

‘Raging Bull’ Darchinyan (33-2-1, 27 KOs) fought for the first time after an unsuccessful attempt at the world title in the 118-pound division. The fight at the Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage, California December 12 was against a dangerous 115-pound challenger, Mexico’s Rojas (32-12-1, 22 KOs), dubbed ‘Gusano’ or ‘Worm’, who proved his reputation early on in the scheduled 12-round bout.

Rojas, 29, admittedly out-boxed Darchinyan in the opening round as he would capitalize on his three-inch height and reach advantage over the 34-year-old southpaw from Vanadzor. But the Mexican appeared to have run out of steam already into the second round and just as predicted by specialists, Darchinyan’s being the stronger lefty eventually settled the matter.

The Raging Bull’s power reigned supreme as he caught Rojas near the ropes and crushed his chin with a powerful left hook, sending the Mexican down hard to the mat, with his head bouncing off the canvas.

“I took my time and let the knockout come to me,” Darchinyan said, according to “He was hitting me with punches but I was hitting him back more and with more power. It was only a matter of time before he felt my power.”

Rojas, who fell at 2:54 in Round 2, said: “I was boxing and doing what I was supposed to do.But I got careless and I never even saw the punch coming.” After the fight, Darchinyan and his promoter Gary Shaw talked about a rematch with Nonito Donaire.

Darchinyan has been chasing Donaire (22-1, 14 KOs) since he suffered a humiliating one-punch fifth round knockout and lost his IBF and IBO flyweight belts to the ‘Filipino Flash’ in July 2007.

Commentators say such a rematch that could be held as soon as next summer is likely to generate a tremendous interest among boxing fans.