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WBC to order Darchinyan rematch
Adrian Warren
14:32 AEST Tue Feb 1 2011

Vic Darchinyan's manager Elias Nassar says the WBC will order a rematch of the Australian boxer's controversial bantamweight bout against Mexico's Abner Mares later this year.

Darchinyan's team lodged a protest with the American Association of Boxing Commissions and Washington State Department of Licensing after the southpaw suffered a contentious split-points loss to the unbeaten Mares in their December 11 bout in Washington.

It was part of a four-man bantamweight tournament, with the defeat sending Darchinyan into an April 23 clash in Los Angeles with Colombia's former IBF world champion Yohnny Perez, who lost the other semi-final to Ghana's Joseph Agbeko.

Darchinyan's IBO bantamweight title, and the vacant WBC silver bantamweight titles, were on the line during the fight.

The Armenian-born fighter's camp protested against the "sub-standard officiating of the bout by referee (Robert) Howard and one of the judges.".

They were also incensed by Mares hitting their man with what they thought were over 20 blows, "14 of which were direct hits to his groin area," and called for the result to be overturned or declared a no-contest and for a rematch to be organised.

Nassar told AAP that promoter Gary Shaw had been informed by the WBC that it would order a rematch with Mares, who will fight Agbeko in the final of the four-man tournament.

He also said there was unlikely to be any imminent official announcement by the WBC, and Darchinyan was concentrating on his clash with Perez, who has a record of 20-1-1 (14 KOs).

"Vic is focused for the Yonnhy Perez fight and we'll take care of the Abner Mares situation after this fight," Nassar said.

Meanwhile, Team Darchinyan have pulled off a recruiting coup, which should see Australian boxing bolstered by the arrival of another highly-regarded eastern European fighter.

Nassar revealed they'd signed Armenia's former European junior champion and 2009 senior world championship quarter-finalist, Azat Hovhanesyan.

He is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Darchinyan and Russian-born former light-welterweight world champion Kostya Tszyu, both of whom won several professional world titles after relocating to Australia.

The 22-year-old, who will fight at super bantamweight or featherweight, has an amateur record of 267 wins from 291 fights with 194 KOs.

"He's a lethal puncher, very much in the mould of Vic and he fights orthodox and southpaw stance," Nassar said

"He's very highly-credentialled. He was also being chased by about five of the big European promotional outfits as well, it's quite a big coup for us.

"All the big boys wanted him and were throwing very decent money at him."

Nassar said Hovhanesyan was likely to relocate to Australia and would probably have his first professional bout mid-year.