Robert Garcia believes that Vic Darchinyan’s hatred for Nonito Donaire makes him dangerous

Nonito Donaire and Vic Darchinyan facing off in Corpus Christi, Tex. (Photo: Chris Farina – Top Rank)

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By Chris Robinson

On Thursday afternoon, Two-time trainer of the Year Robert Garcia spent his last day inside of his personal gym before his latest trek, as he will be soon be departing towards Corpus Christi, Tex. for his involvement in this weekend’s HBO triple header inside of the American Bank Center.

Two of Garcia’s fighters will be in action on Saturday night, as his younger brother Mikey moves up to challenge WBO junior lightweight champion Roman ‘Rocky’ Martinez while Fil-Am star Nonito Donaire meets Vic Darchinyan in a rematch at 126 pounds.

In July of 2007, Donaire pulled off one of the year’s biggest upsets when he crushed Darchinyan with a whistling counter left hook that had the Armenian dazed and on wobbly legs after attempting to rise from a knockdown.

Over six years later and fate has led the two men back to one another. And despite the 37-year old Darchinyan having lost four fights since his first encounter with Donaire, Garcia is adamant that he is still very dangerous for one particular reason.

“You know, I think Darchinyan is the opponent that we got to be very aware of,” Garcia stated exclusively to “Darchinyan has nothing to lose. Darchinyan has already accomplished so much, already did so much. He hasn’t fought Nonito in like six years. And he’s always wanted that rematch.

“He really hates Nonito,” Garcia added. “We got to be very well-prepared and very careful for a dangerous fight. Darchinyan could be a very dangerous opponent because he has nothing to lose. And I’m sure he trained like nothing before, because he wants this rematch so bad. Now that he’s got it, he’s going to do anything possible to win the fight.”

Donaire (31-2, 20 KO’s) is coming off of a humbling unanimous decision loss to WBA/WBO junior featherweight titlist Guillermo Rigondeaux this past April in New York. In that contest, Donaire was never really able to get on track as his Cuban counterpart built an early led and thwarted him with his deft footwork and mobility.

Garcia knew that a change was in order and that’s why he insisted that Donaire leave the comforts of his training base in Northern California to try out his facility in Oxnard.

“He was here three weeks,” Garcia noted. “That says it all. This was his first time in my gym. He had always wanted to train at home and he never really wanted to travel. He came three weeks to Oxnard and that made a big difference. That told me that he was really motivated and really wanted to come back and get back to where he used to be, the best in the world.”

There definitely appears to be some options on the table for Donaire if successful this weekend.

There looks to be a significant fight in the works between WBO featherweight champion Orlando Salido and two-time gold medalist Vasyl Lomachenko for Jan. 25, with the winner of the match serving as intriguing opponent for Donaire next year.

And while Donaire has expressed his interest in facing Salido, Garcia refuses to look past Darchinyan.

“Those are all fights that are possible,” Garcia revealed. “Those are all fights that Top Rank can do, but we’ve got to focus on Darchinyan right now. I don’t want to think about the future, because we still have Darchinyan. We still have to beat Darchinyan before we can think about that.”

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