© Tom Casino / Showtime Boxing
Tonight at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, CA, bantamweights Yonnhy Perez and Vic Darchinyan tangle for the vacant IBO crown.
This should be a thrilling bout in the classic format of boxer vs. puncher as southpaw Darchinyan impulsively throws everything he has into nearly every punch while Perez is much more measured.
Darchinyan, who held the IBF and IBO titles at flyweight along with the WBC, WBA and IBF belts at super fly, generally enjoyed a strength advantage against opponents in those divisions but has found that not to be the case at 118 pounds.
The 35 year old Armenian born Australian, 35-3-1 (27), resident has lost both world class level bouts that he's engaged in at bantamweight, coming up short against Joseph Agbeko in 2009 and Abner Mares in Darchinyan's most recent contest in December.
32 year old Colombian born American resident Perez, 20-1-1 (14), a career bantam, is taller, younger and stronger than Darchinyan and that will likely be a problem for the former multi-weight champion.
But whether or not Perez, a former IBF bantam champ, wins this one really comes down to how whether or not Perez allows Darchinyan the time and space to practice the style in which he best performs.
When Darchinyan is allowed to stalk and then rush his opponents at the time and place of his choosing, he's deadly with the overhand left as his high knockout ratio aptly indicates.
But when Darchinyan is either pressured and put on the defensive, as he was against Agbeko, or thrown off his timing by jabs and quick foot movement, as by Nonito Donaire in 2007, he doesn't fare nearly as well.
Although Perez, who is coming off a rematch loss to Agbeko and a draw against Mares, will have to be able to take Darchinyan's heavy punches as "The Raging Bull" is sure to land a few right on the button regardless.
Assuming that Perez is up to that task, he does have the high work rate and pressure style that should be able to keep Darchinyan from staying on the outside and sporadically leaping in with bombs.
Unless he can discourage Perez from coming forward and constantly throwing punches, Darchinyan will likely be looking at a long night and given his complete lack of defense on the way rushing in, could even suffer a stoppage loss.
There's a heavyweight clash on the undercard as 42 year old veteran slugger DaVarryl Williamson, 26-6 (22), is matched with 25 year old prospect Michael Marrone, 19-2 (14).
Marrone has lost two of his last three while former world title challenger Williamson is coming off a WBC title eliminator loss to Ray Austin so it's hard to gauge this one.
Williamson has faced much higher quality opposition but at 42, how much does he have left? He can really punch but is the very picture of a chinny banger so whoever can find the target first between these two heavyweights will likely stop the other.