In a terrific matchup of unbeaten flyweights, International Boxing Federation (IBF) champion Vic “The Raging Bull’’ Darchinyan will defend his crown against IBF No. 8 contender Luis Maldonado Saturday, June 3, 2006, on SHOWTIME.
The 12-round world title fight, which was announced by SHOWTIME Sports & Event Programming General Manager Ken Hershman, will precede the highly anticipated rubber match between World Boxing Council (WBC) Lightweight Champion Diego Corrales and former two-time WBC titleholder Jose Luis Castillo. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING world championship doubleheader from the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, will begin at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).
Darchinyan (25-0, 20 KOs), of Sydney, Australia, by way of Vanadvor, Armenia, is coming off of a sensational eighth-round TKO over Diosdado Gabi March 3, 2006, on the SHOWTIME boxing series, “ShoBox: The New Generation.” A pint-sized powerhouse armed with bone-crunching power, Darchinyan is one of the hardest pound-for-pound hitters in boxing. The Lord of the Flys has won seven consecutive bouts by knockout. This will be the southpaw’s fourth title defense. Darchinyan also holds the International Boxing Organization (IBO) 112-pound belt.
Maldonado (33-0-1, 25 KOs), of Mexicali, Mexico, had a 33-fight winning streak end in his last outing when he boxed to a 12-round draw against slick southpaw boxer Cristian Mijares in a flyweight elimination bout on Feb. 24, 2006. An aggressive, offensive-minded slugger who makes for great fights and never takes a backward step, Maldonado will be the naturally bigger man against Darchinyan. The unbeaten crowd pleaser, who also is the World Boxing Organization (WBO) No. 6 contender, will make his second United States start.