Michael Rosenthal

Darchinyan often manages to be the center of attention

No matter what happens to Vic Darchinyan, he never goes away.

The Armenian slugger’s fight with Yonnhy Perez was elevated to the main event after injured Joseph Agbeko had to pull out of Showtime’s bantamweight tournament final against Abner Mares on Saturday at Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.

That marks the third time that Darchinyan has moved into the main event on Showtime.

The first was when he stopped Luis Maldonado in 2006 after the Jose Luis Castillo-Diego Corrales fight was canceled because Castillo failed to make weight. The second was his decision over Rodrigo Guerrero in March of last year, when the Andre Dirrell-Arthur Abraham fight was postponed because Dirrell allegedly hurt his back.

Darchinyan’s fight on Saturday also is his 13th on Showtime, which is only four shy of the record 17 set by Julio Cesar Chavez.

Bottom line: Darchinyan is always there and always marketable.

“People who pay for the ticket want to see a war,” Darchinyan said at a news conference Thursday at ESPN Zone in downtown L.A. “I don’t come to win every round. I come to knock out my opponent.

“I can be hit with low blows or get head butts and I still go all the way until I knock them out. I’ve had 39 fights and I think in 36 or 37, I knocked them down. Even fights I lost I knocked them down.”

Darchinyan plans to do the same thing to Perez.

He remains livid over what he believes was the overly intrusive performance of referee Robert Howard in his split-decision loss to Mares in Decemeber, which he feels contributed to the setback. So he has decided he won’t leave anything in the hands of officials.

He said he will seek a knockout from the opening bell.

“We’ll see who is a bigger puncher,” he said.

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