At the Crossroads with Darchinyan

By Ted Sares on September 30, 2012
At the Crossroads with Darchinyan
The Puerto Rican made the fatal mistake of brawling with an expert brawler. (Ed Diller)

Being a tad long in the tooth, I dearly love it when a 36-year-old veteran meets an up-and-coming 25-year-old undefeated fighter and takes him to school…

“I’m the ultimate road warrior”—Vic Darchinyan

“I know we have a tough fight. We’re going to prove that we belong with the big boys. We have no doubt we will come out with the win.”—Luis Orlando Del Valle

“I went down to the crossroads, fell down on my knees. Asked the Lord above for mercy, save me if you please.”—Lyrics from Crossroads by Robert Johnson

Being a tad long in the tooth, I dearly love it when a 36-year-old veteran meets an up-and-coming 25-year-old undefeated fighter and takes him to school. However, the school Puerto Rican sensation Luis Orlando Del Valle (16-0, 11 KOs) attended on Saturday night in Connecticut was a scary one. Vic Darchinyan (37-5-1, 27 KOs) gave the game and talented “Orlandito” the kind of sustained beating that can render terrible and possible irreparable damage. Orlandito fought back just enough to stay in the fight until the end, as his face broke apart from Vic’s heavy shots, pointy elbows, and sneaky head butts all launched effectively from strange angles that only the power hitting Vic seems to know how to use. The young Puerto Rican made the fatal mistake of brawling with an expert brawler.

When a streaking prospect steps up in class, he may well be given a lesson he won’t forget even if the odds seem with him and the lesson this time was best expressed by the following numbers: 99-91, 99-91, 96-94, though the usually competent Clark Sammartino’s 96-94 was clearly off the mark.

“I’m back,” exclaimed a jubilant Vic, and that should please boxing fans that enjoy uncommon excitement and action in the ring.  As for the very sportsmanlike Del Valle, one must now question whether the lesson was worth it. Time will tell.


“I told the fans there cannot be a celebration of my victory, I don’t want it. Everybody is praying for Victor Burgos and we wish him good luck…”—Darchinyan

While watching this beat down, I was reminded of a fight I witnessed and wrote about in 2007 when the same “Raging Bull” (27-0) fought former IBF light flyweight title holder Jose Victor El “Acorazado” Burgos (39-14-3). At stake were the IBF and IBO flyweight titles. Vic was leading on the cards 110-98, 109-99 and 110-98 going into the 12th round and had floored the tough Burgos in the second, but like Orlandito, the Mexican was fighting back thus preventing solid referee Jon Schorle from stopping matters. In fact, between the 10th and 11th rounds, Schorle went to Burgos’ corner to inquire as to his condition, but his corner cleared Burgos to continue.

Finally at the 1:27 mark of the last round, the fight was halted as the stumbling Burgos had nothing left to offer. Things then got scary as Burgos slumped on his stool in plain sight and was in a bad way. He was immediately taken from the ring wearing a neck brace on a stretcher and to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance where doctors removed a blood clot from the swollen brain. Eventually, he came out of a medically-induced coma and was released at some point.

Reportedly Southern California boxing publicist Alex Camponovo, a friend of the Burgos family residing in Tijuana, later said Burgos was still in rehabilitation. “He has had to re-learn everything, how to walk, how to talk.” There have been sightings of Jose Victor in and around Tijuana and the reports about his condition have not been good, but I have not been able to corroborate this.

As the late and great Joe Frazier once said, “Boxing is the only sport where you can get your brain shook, your money took, and your name in the undertaker’s book.”

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Luis Del Valle vs Vic Darchinyan HBO

Robert Johnson CrossRoads - Cross Road Blues Song and Lyrics

Darchinyan vs Burgos - Rounds 1 - 2

Darchinyan vs Burgos - Rounds 3 - 4

Darchinyan vs Burgos - Rounds 5 - 6

Darchinyan vs Burgos - Rounds 7 - 8

Darchinyan vs Burgos - Rounds 9 - 10

Darchinyan vs Burgos - Rounds 11 - 12

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  1. Tex Hassler 01:38pm, 10/01/2012

    Vic D. is a real fighter. He maybe in the latter stages of his career but he still has some left in the tank.

  2. Pete The Sneak 06:48am, 10/01/2012

    As I mentioned before, I will always watch a Vic Darchinyan fight. The guy will always bring it, soup to nuts. But man, he sure gave my young Boricua brethren a serious beat down. Definitely man versus boy, and the man spanked him. Hope Orlandito will come out of this in good shape and is not damaged by this fight going forward. Peace.

  3. the thresher 05:56am, 10/01/2012

    Vic has been accused of liking to hurt people, but his reactions after the Burgos slaughter belied that image. In reality, I think he is an ok guy, but when the bell rings, he goes into roughouser mode and goes after his opponent like passing gas follows listening to politicians.

    He had Del Valle spooked even before the bell rang to round one.

  4. sthomas 05:51am, 10/01/2012

    Howdy Ted,
    Class by Vic D.  Hope he keeps rolling

  5. Bob 08:40pm, 09/30/2012

    Darchinyan is like a little dog who thinks he’s a big dog and gets away with it by sheer force of his will and tremendous tenacity.  If only he was a heavyweight, we’d be salivating at his style. While he’s enjoyable to watch, there seems to be a mean spiritedness in him (maybe it’s just his game face) that result in good fights but not fun fights, if there is such a thing.

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