NEW YORK (July 18, 2008) – International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior bantamweight champion Dimitri “The Baby” Kirilov (29-3-1, 9 KOs) will defend his title against former IBF flyweight champion and knockout artist Vic “Raging Bull” Darchinyan (29-1-1, 23 KOs), Saturday, Aug. 2, live on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).
In the co-feature, U.S. Olympian and undefeated prospect Andre “The Matrix” Dirrell (15-0, 10 KOs) puts his flawless record on the line against fellow unbeaten Mike “The Persecutor” Paschall (17-0-1, 4 KOs) in a 10-round super middleweight brawl.
The telecast will originate from the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Wash. and is promoted by Gotham Boxing, Inc.
Kirilov, who is trained by Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, captured the IBF crown by winning a close unanimous decision against former U.S. Olympian Jose Navarro on Oct. 13, 2007. The scores were 116-112, 114-113 twice.
In his most recent outing in February, the Russian-born Kirilov wasn’t able to finish Cecilio Santos (22-8-3, 12 KOs) and had to settle for a draw. Although one judge scored the fight for Kirilov, 116-112; the other two scored it even at 114 each.
Darchinyan had an iron grip on the flyweight division, successfully defending his IBF title six times – five inside the distance. He eventually lost his 112-pound strap in a major upset to Filipino star Nonito Donaire. Darchinyan now aims to wreak havoc on the 115-pound, super flyweight division.
Kirilov-Darchinyan is a match up of varying styles. Kirilov, known for his tremendous speed and ability to outbox his competition, relies heavily on his quick hands. He loves to pepper his opponents with a precise left jab.
Darchinyan, a southpaw, is quite the opposite from his counterpart. Not nearly as polished and refined as Kirilov, Darchinyan employs an in-your-face game plan that has produced 23 knockout victories for the Armenian-born boxer. Darchinyan is often described as possessing bone-crushing power.
Dirrell, who has fought on the prospect-based series ShoBox: The New Generation on SHOWTIME, will attempt to prove he is no longer a prospect but a championship contender when he faces the undefeated Paschall in the co-feature.
In his last fight in May, Dirrell looked extraordinary against Anthony Hanshaw (21-2-1, 14 KOs), registering a fifth round TKO on ShoBox.
Despite a slow start, Dirrell came on strongly and with a left hand to the head sent Hanshaw to the canvas at the end of the fourth round near his opponent’s corner. Following a flurry of unanswered punches to Hanshaw’s head early in the fifth, referee Pat Russell stopped the contest at 1:13.
Dirrell, who won the bronze medal at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games for the United States, is a tall, agile southpaw with solid power in both mitts.
In his 18 fight career, Paschall has scored several impressive unanimous decision victories against veteran boxers. The prospect is taking a tough test on August 2 against Dirrell. With only four knockouts to his credit, Paschall will have to rely on his boxing skills if he hopes to stay undefeated.
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