Vic Darchinyan is a crafty veteran of dozens of wars, a two-division champion and even at the age of 39—as he demonstrated in his last fight—capable of delivering knockout power. He’s also one other thing: a southpaw.
Which works out well for Jesus Cuellar, himself a southpaw, when he takes on Darchinyan on Saturday on NBC Sports Network (4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT).
Three of Cuellar’s last four fights were against southpaws, and two of those were knockout wins. In fact, going back to 2010, seven of Cuellar’s last 15 fights have come against left-handers. The results? Seven wins, including four KOs that came in the fifth round or earlier.
“I’ve been fighting nothing but lefties pretty much all my life,” he laughed. “No particular reason. They put up lefties and that’s who I fight.”
Darchinyan hasn’t fought another southpaw since Shinsuke Yamanaka in 2012, but he does come to the fight with about 20 more fights under his belt than Cuellar. Still, Darchinyan is coming back up to 126 pounds after his win over Juan Jiminez at 122. At 126 is where Darchinyan suffered his worst defeat, a devastating fifth-round KO courtesy of Nicholas Walters in May 2014.
“Vic Darchinyan is a very experienced fighter, but in the division he’s at a lower level,” Cuellar said. “He’s stepping up to a higher level. I know he has the experience, but I’ve been training hard. I’ve got the will to win this fight. I’ve been training hard for this. I know I’m going to win this fight. As an amateur I’ve fought all over the world, so I have a lot of experience, too.”
- Jesus Cuellar