LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Former two-division world champion Vic Darchinyan has claimed a five-round technical decision over former International Boxing Federation bantamweight title holder Yonnhy Perez.
Armenian-born Australian southpaw Darchinyan rattled Colombia’s Perez in the first round and sent him to the canvas in the second.
The fight ended when an accidental head butt cut Perez over the left eye in the fifth round, with Darchinyan leading 50-44 on all three judges’ cards.
Ringside doctor Paul Wallace stopped the fight moments after examining the profusely bleeding gash.
“He suffered an arterial bleed,” Wallace said. “One of his blood vessels had been cut and it was pumping directly into his eye. He gave no indication he wanted to stop.”
Darchinyan confirmed that the cut was the result of an accidental head butt.
“It was a head butt,” Darchinyan said. “But if it wasn’t a head butt, I would’ve knocked him out.”
Darchinyan improved to 36-3-1 with 27 wins inside the distance. Perez fell to 20-2-1 with 14 knockouts.
The fight was the consolation match in a four-man bantamweight tournament that also involved Ghana’s Joseph Agbeko and unbeaten Mexican Abner Mares.
Agbeko pulled out of his headline bout with Mares, in which he would have defended his International Boxing Federation title, with back pain diagnosed as sciatica.
Last December, Mares beat Darchinyan and Agbeko downed previously unbeaten Perez to book their showdown.
But after arriving Monday on a delayed six-hour flight from New York, Agbeko collapsed outside the airport baggage claim area and was taken away in an ambulance to a hospital complaining of pain in his lower back and right thigh.
The biggest fight of Agbeko’s career thus far was postponed indefinitely.