Vic Darchinyan: I want to fight with Russian champion in Armenia 'before ending my career'

13:13 • 17.02.18

Armenian professional boxer Vic Darchinyan, who won the world champion's title in 2008, says he now has a great desire to fight with Russia’s Yevgeny Gradovich in Armenia in a historic match "marking the end of my career".

Below is's interview with the boxing legend, who managed to earn the IBO title four times throughouth his career.

Vic, I would like you to speak a little bit about your activities now. Where are you currently, and what are you doing? Very little has been heard of you over the recent period.

I am at home in Armenia at the moment, using the time to have a rest a little bit. I have come to Armenia to meet with friends and relatives.

And what about your activities in general? The latest report about you in the media dates back to 2017 after you knocked out Thailand’s Manot Comput in the first round of a match. And that, by the way, was after your defeat by a knockout.

In 2017, I was in Australia, facing a Thai boxer who had competed in 30 matches before. The outcome was really brilliant – a knockout in the first round. Later, Yevgeny Gradovich, a Russian world champion , threw down the gauntlet to me. We have been actually negotiating a joint match for several years now. And after he contacted me recently, I told him I am ready to fight.   

I sent them my latest video at their own request, but have heard no more from them ever since. They probably saw I have regained my strength and decided against fighting. But the Russian sportsman is unlikely to face any other sportsman now, so I expect him to fight with me should he ever certainly have a desire to fight. And that fight, if it takes place at all, will mark the day of ending my career - as I will myself declare.

You were an absolute world champion in 2008 when you had 53 duels. Which  is the greatest victory and the most desired defeat in your career?

My best victory was probably in the 2008 match with Cristian Mijares, when I was named a world champion. That result was unique, and will probably never repeat itself any time in the future as I had four belts in my weight class then. But the most important duel for me was the one which brought me the champion's title back in 2004 when I defeated Irene Pacheco, a very strong world champion. He had knocked out all [his rivals] to gain advantage over them, so very few people were optimistic about my victory. But I knocked him out.

Vic, you have suffered nine defeats. Have you analyzed them?

Some 5-6 out of these nine weren't actually defeats. I do not admit personally that they were defeats in essence. These were matches in the United States and Japan. In one case, I suffered a groin attack by my rival, a practice which is forbidden in boxing. And so I was defeated. 

In 2011, you initiated a professional duel in Armenia and celebrated a victory. You have repeatedly stated that to be a goal which you sought to achieve in Armenia. What other goals do have in the country now.


My desire is not much different now. All I want is my match with the Russian sportsman (if it certainly takes place) to be by all means held in Armenia. And on that very day, I will announce the end of my career. That's my goal and my desire, and would really be nice and wonderful. Anyway I will make the statement on ending my career here in Armenia.


Vic, do you think it is difficult to quit the ring?


It is really very difficult. I have been in boxing for more than 30 years now, and I don't even believe that it is time to quit it, as I myself feel I want to practise and be there on the ring. But that's impossible, as you have, sometime or other, to announce an end to your career.

Vic, you also announced a plan for ending your career back in 2016. Why didn't you do that then?


I announced a plan about ending my career in both 2016 and 2017, but there were good offers I wasn't able to reject, and I had to return to the sport again.

Is there any tradition or action that you normally follow before going to the ring or leaving it?

There isn't any tradition actually, but every time before going to the ring, I must by all means remain in solitude to set my tasks and get concentrated.

Vic, you earlier spoke repeatedly also about plans for building a boxing school in Yerevan and Spitak. Is [your idea] translating itself into reality? 

I have changed my mind a little; all I want now is to have a better and more professional sports school in the US. And that probably will be my next step after ending my career, because the United States is where you actually can find all the good things you need to train good sportsmen. That's a financial issue; all is about colleagues and professionals. One has to have good rivals in a professional match to be able to train. And they really have those opportunities. And this is how a boxer actually paves his way to progress – as I myself did in my time. If I want to train someone just in order to make him a world champion, I can't possibly do it in Armenia as we do not have that atmosphere here. It is really difficult.  

What about your relationship with Armenian sportsmen?

My relationship is really very good with Armenian sportsmen. I am permanently in touch with those friends who are my peers and who are now abroad, but I do not know quite well the generation which is now growing up in Armenia.I  attended their competitions a couple of years ago and do really see that we have good sportsmen here. It isn't, as a matter of fact, so easy to be a good sportsman. It more has to do with the sportsman's character - rather than the coach.  I personally have the feeling that I have myself contributed to my own progress. The coach really matters, but unless the sportsman himself has [a strong] character, the coach alone will not be able to do anything.


Vic, are you likely to ever go into politics? Do you follow the political developments in Armenia?


Yes, I follow them, but I do not see myself in politics; it doesn't seem to be an occupation for me. I am very friendly and love to be with people, but that isn't what normally happens in politics. You are often pressed for time. I just do not imagine myself in politics. 

When did you last visit Armenia (apart from the current visit)? Do you come and go kind of stealthily or are you not really here very often?


I came to Armenia last year; I miss Armenia. And I certainly to Armenia several times a year. But I do not like to make it public. So I do it in a hidden way so to speak, but at the end of the day, everybody knows it.  

Perhaps after ending of my career, I will spend most of my time in Armenia. I want to even bring my family to Armenia - and I will, certainly, if am able to. I just have a little difficulty with my children's education; my elder son is now ten, and he goes to school.   

Does he go in for sports?

I teach my son; he too, trains himself a lot and goes in for sports. My younger son is four, and I feel he will be a better boxer - as he beats me every time he sees me.

What are your plans for the future?


It all depends on the Russian sportsman's response. Should he reject [my offer] to fight, he will have to end his career. So I am waiting to hear from him. I think they will get in touch with me sooner or later. I wish they didn't drag this process too long, otherwise I will really end my career. 

Betghehem Arabyan


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