A fateful slap to the boxer
Today, on January 7, Vakhtang Darchinyan, who is known in professional boxing under the nickname Raging Bull, has turned 40.
Vakhtang (Vic) Darchinyan from Vanadzor was hardly known to public in 2000. That year, Vakhtang presented Armenia at Sydney Olympic Games. A 24-year-old athlete won the 5th place.
Before that, he had become champion of Armenia four times (1997-2000), a winner of the European Championship (1998), World Cup (1998) and the Goodwill Games (1998).
Immediately after the Olympic Games, one of the professional boxing clubs of Australia offered the athlete a contract under the condition to stay in Australia and get engaged in professional boxing.
This offer put the sportsman before the choice: either to return home or to stay in Australia. His coach, Vazgen Badalyan, advised him to return and take part in the upcoming World Championship:
‘I told him, Vakhtang, there is the World Championship ahead, you’d better first participate in it and then decide what to do. I actually took on the great risk, since it might have turned out so that he would have returned and then would not be allowed to leave the country again.
He followed my advice and arrived in Armenia, but the Armenian Boxing Federation leadership decided that they did not need that athlete. They put its straight that by the next Olympics he would be 28 and that they wanted to work with younger athletes.’
Having been outraged by such an attitude, Vakhtang regretted that he had returned. The coach reassured him: ‘I told him: never mind, son, if you are not accepted in Armenia, then you’d better leave.’
So, Vakhtang left to prove to himself, to Armenia and the whole world, that he could do better than that. Although he left the country offended with the Armenian Boxing Federation, that did not prevent him from performing in all his fights under the Armenian flag.
Vic soon became the champion of Australia, and it was then that the sports community tagged him as Raging Bull. In 2004, he became the world champion according to the IBF. This victory granted Armenia the first professional champion. Later, he captured the record IBO title, then – the WBC, WBA titles. Although he lost them over the years, the coach is still proud of his pupil, while the boxer stands ready to continue fighting for the championship title.
During 15 years in professional boxing, the athlete held 51 fights, including 42 of them that ended in his victory and 31- knockouts.
Although the sports commentators have been talking for several years about the need to leave the ring, the 40-year-old athlete is not going to leave the sports arena.
Vic has been fond of boxing since the age of 5. He was first brought to the gym as early as in 1983, at the age of 7.
Vic’s first coach, Vazgen Badalyan, recalls: ‘He was too small, I said that I could not take him. His father said that the child was thinking sports all the time and asked me to accept him, so he could finally calm down. ‘Badalyan says that at the very first glance Vic reminded him of a small dinosaur: ‘He was all sinewy his eyebrows knitted, I felt an internal impulse in him. He was very different from others. At the age of 7, he already had a typical athlete’s posture.
Even now, Vakhtang cannot imagine his life without sports. As he said in one of his interviews a few months ago:
‘I want to prove to the whole world that the age does not matter. The main thing is not the age, but rather motivation and strive for victory. ‘
We would like to congratulate the athlete with the anniversary and wish him success!