According to an article Saturday in ProBoxingInsider.com, Nonito Donaire appears set to meet Vic Darchinyan in a rematch of their 2007 meeting, in which Donaire scored a fifth round TKO. The venue is most likely to be American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Following an embarrassing loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux, in a fight where he was a considerable favorite, Donaire will be looking to right his ship and prove he is worthy of all the accolades he had received prior to that fight.
"Donaire is coming off the worst performance that I've ever seen where he was seemingly unprepared for the fight with Rigondeaux and listless, and when something like that happens you don't know for sure if a fighter can snap out of that, so that remains to be seen," promoter Bob Arum said. "I don't know whether we'll see the Donaire we were used to seeing before the Rigondeaux fight or another version of the Donaire who fought Rigondeaux, so that makes this rematch with Darchinyan interesting."
During their first meeting, it was Donaire who was the big 7-1 underdog going into the fight. That all changed when one huge shot by Donaire gave him a victory, as well as the "Knockout of the Year." Additionally, the win earned him both the IBF and IBO flyweight titles.
The manager for Darchinyan, Frank Espinoza, is quite certain things will be different when they meet this time. "Vic has wanted this fight for years. This is the first featherweight fight for Vic, but it's also the first fight at 126 for Nonito Donaire. I'm confident my guy is capable of beating him. It's all about timing," Espinoza said.
"Donaire just took a bad loss with Rigondeaux. It was his first career loss and a fighter usually needs a confidence builder after something like that, but Vic won't be a confidence builder. Vic is coming to take Donaire's head off. Donaire also had surgery since then, and we don't really know how his body will react at 126-pounds."
Vic Darchinyan, 37, agreed to take the fight at 126 pounds, though he originally hoped to make it a catch weight contest at 124 pounds. However, Nonito Donaire was unwilling to accommodate his request. So the bout will be at featherweight, a weight neither has previously competed at.
"Vic knows his dream of winning another world title is at stake here. A win over Donaire could open the door for a title shot in his next fight. Everything is on the line here for both fighters. In their first fight, Vic was the big favorite and now the roles are reversed, but that makes my fighter even hungrier to win," added Espinoza.
He believes his boxer has got things rolling once again. "Everyone wrote him off against Orlando Del Valle, he was brought in as an opponent and look what happened. Donaire can't afford to lose a second fight in a row and Vic can't afford to lose a big opportunity like this. The stakes are very high for both fighters."
The fight against Orlando del Valle ended in a unanimous decision win for Darchinyan back in the fall of 2012. Since then, he also has added a TKO victory over Javier Gallo to his resume. That fight allowed him to claim the NABF super bantamweight championship.
In the six years since the defeat to Donaire, Darchinyan has been itching for a chance at a rematch. And now, after Donaire has suffered a loss, as well as underwent surgery on his shoulder, he will finally get his wish.