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Is Mijares-Darchinyan the next Vazquez-Marquez?

October 13, 2008 |  4:59 pm

Rafael Marquez, right, lands a punch against Israel Vazquez. 

Early in 2007, the Home Depot Center in Carson landed (with little fanfare) a fight between world champions Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez. That battle set in motion one of the most riveting boxing trilogies this decade, capped by their 12-round classic at Home Depot in March of this year.

In a familiar, low-key setting Monday at an Olvera Street restaurant, world super-flyweight champions Cristian Mijares and Vic Darchinyan met the media to publicize their Nov. 1 title-unification bout at Home Depot.

"I will knock him out, 100%," said Darchinyan (30-1-1, 24 knockouts).

"He's saying these things because he's scared of me," answered Mijares (35-3-2, 14 KOs). "My smarts in the ring will be the story of this fight."

That's the crux of this showdown. Will Darchinyan, who so badly pounded Victor Burgos in his 2007 Home Depot appearance that the challenger was temporarily comatose, land his big left decisively?

"Vic went to church and prayed for [Burgos], we hope it won't go that way again," his trainer, J. Fares, said in a snickering delivery.

Or will Mijares pick apart the puncher, defusing his boasts with a technical masterpiece? That's what Mijares did in clearly beating the colorful Jorge Arce in 2007, and L.A.'s skilled former Olympian Jose Navarro earlier this year.

"I'm very relaxed, very happy, and I trust I can win," Mijares said through an interpreter. "Winning this fight would solidify me.

"And if the fight allows it, and the fans want it, I'll do it again for sure."

-- Lance Pugmire

Photo: Rafael Marquez, right, lands a punch against Israel Vazquez during the first round of the WBC super-bantumweight title boxing match in Carson on March 3, 2007. Vazquez had to quit after seven rounds because of a broken nose. Credit: Stephen Carr / Long Beach Press-Telegram