Media heavyweights back Darchinyan-Catubay
Two of Australia’s leading sportswriters have backed Vic Darchinyan’s
choice of modestly performed Filipino Federico Catubay as his comeback
opponent following the shock loss to Nonito Donaire (pictured).
Southpaw slugger Darchinyan (28-1, 22 KOs) returns to the ring on
October 20 against the former Filipino flyweight champ Catubay (20-13-3,
11 KOs) in Sydney for the vacant IBO super-flyweight crown.
Darchinyan lost his IBF and IBO flyweight titles to Donaire in
Connecticut last month in what was his first loss since dropping a
decision to Bulat Jumadilov of Kazakhstan in a quarter-final at the 2000
The selection of the tiny (5ft 2in) Catubay, who was stopped in three
rounds by Darchinyan’s stablemate Hussein Hussein in 2005, has drawn
derision from many boxing fans who have written to sportsnut.com.au
demanding the one-time terror of the 51kg division fighter a tougher
But Bernie Pramberg, Queensland’s No.1 boxing writer, applauded
Darchinyan for easing himself back into the big time following the huge
upset against Donaire.
``It’s a sensible return for Vic,’’ said Pramberg, the boxing writer for
The Courier-Mail. ``It’s a smart move to get him on track to regain a
Mike Colman, author and sports columnist for The Courier-Mail and Sunday
Mail said: ``While there has been widespread criticism of Vic’s
opponent, Vic is doing the right thing.
``Whenever a great champion suffers such an unexpected loss he suffers
more mental damage than a physical battering and Vic needs to regain his
``He’s obviously a very strong and fit boxer but he needs to rebuild his
confidence to take on the world’s best again and Catubay is a good
opponent without being too threatening.’’
Darchinyan’s trainer says his knockout loss to Donaire could be a
blessing in disguise.
Billy Hussein, who has also worked with champs and contenders such as
Danny Green and his brothers Nedal Hussein and Hussein Hussein, said
Darchinyan had taken stock of his career in light of his defeat.
``A little setback can sometimes be a good thing in sport.
``It sounds funny but in a way I think the knockout woke Vic up.
``He now knows he must respect all opponents and that all of them are
``Vic was too confident. There was a fight for the IBF bantamweight
title on the same card as Vic’s fight with Donaire. Vic was in the
dressing room before his fight and he said to (promoter) Gary Shaw get
me the winner of the bantamweight title for my next fight – I’ll knock
Gary Shaw just said: ``Just keep your mind on the job Vic and worry
about this fight first. Gary Shaw was right.’’
Hussein, who took over training Darchinyan from former three-time world
champ Jeff Fenech, said he had also learned from the loss how on how to
better prepare Darchinyan physically and mentally for future fights.
``I have to take a whole different approach,’’ Hussein said.
Australia’s legendary trainer Johnny Lewis also said it would be some
time before Darchinyan’s future potential could be assessed and feared
some emotional damage.
``That first knockout can set a lot of fighters back - we won’t know if
Vic has suffered any mental scars until he fights a good fighter
again,’’ Lewis said.
``The loss can sometimes be a good thing – we’ve seen in history that
sometimes a loss is as good as 10 wins for the wisdom you gain.
``But we don’t know how bad this is going to hurt Vic’s career. He could
still bounce back better and wiser and more determined than ever.’’