JUST under six months removed from his gallant effort against Nonito Donaire, Vic Darchinyan will challenge unbeaten Jamaican Nicholas Walters for his version of the WBA featherweight championship, being the ‘regular’ title – on May 31st from the Cotai Arena in Macau, China.
“Darchinyan clearly showed that he is far from done with his performance against Donaire,” said Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti. “He was ahead on two of the three scorecards, he has a great name, he’s been a great champion. It’s an interesting fight, and it’s a good test for Walters. Vic would be the best opponents Walters has faced. Walters is not as experienced as Darchinyan, but he’s younger and strong.”
Darchinyan, 38, (39-6-1, 28 KOs) a former unified titleholder at flyweight and super flyweight has had mixed results since his continued move up in weight. While he was clearly ahead against Donaire in his last fight, before being stopped in the ninth, he is 0-2 in recent world title attempts at bantamweight.
In spite of this, Darchinyan’s management, headed by Frank Espinoza of Espinoza Boxing is confident that Darchinyan can break this drought and keep himself relevant in a thriving featherweight division.
“This is a great opportunity for Vic to show the world that he still has what it take to be a world champion,” explained Espinoza. “Vic is hungry and ready for war. In China, a new champion will be crowned and Vic will make history.”
Walters, 28, (23-0, 19 KOs) will be making the second defence of his WBA ‘regular’ title, which he won in 2012 with a stoppage win over Daulis Prescott. While Walters’ hasn’t faced anyone of Darchinyan’s calibre as a professional, he is a young and clearly talented titleholder in a solid division.
The opportunity presented to Darchinyan was originally offered to Alejandro Perez. However, Perez lost a tune-up bout against Juan Carlos Martinez last week – which paved the way for Darchinyan – who is looking to become a four-division titleholder.
The card will be promoted by Top Rank, who is continuing its expansion into the Asian market, or more specifically, the lucrative Chinese market. The main event will pit Nonito Donaire against WBA featherweight super champion Simpiwe Vetyeka, who is known to Australian audiences for retiring Chris John.
Another familiar face in Evgeny Gradovich will also feature on the card, defending his IBF featherweight strap against Alexander Miskirtchian.