Artem Dalakian: ‘It was my dream to become a world champion’
On February 24, at the Forum in Inglewood, California, the hotly anticipated SuperFly2 promotion took place and the internationally flavored card lived up to its lofty billing.
Most of the attention – and rightly so – focused on the main event between Thailand’s Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Mexico’s Juan Francisco Estrada. The fight didn’t disappoint with Sor Rungvisai edging Estrada by 12-round majority decision to claim the vacant RING junior bantamweight championship and retain his WBC title.
In chief support, McWilliams Arroyo returned from a 22-month hiatus to score a career-best win. The 32-year-old Puerto Rican bested former WBC titleholder Carlos Cuadras over 10 rounds and will be looking for a world title shot in 2018.
Flyweight star Donnie Nietes, who is unbeaten in 14 years, also stopped former titleholder Juan Carlos Raveco to retain his IBF 112-pound belt for a second time.
If anything, there was too much high-quality action because even though Artem Dalakian-Brian Viloria wasn’t shown on the HBO telecast, it was still a significant fight at 112 pounds. The pair contested the vacant WBA title.
Dalakian (16-0, 11 knockouts) proved a tough nut to crack, using his height and reach advantages to widely outpoint the former unified flyweight titleholder on all three scorecards.
“Viloria is a really good experienced boxer,” Dalakian told RingTV.com through a translator. “But he didn’t show in the ring anything that I wouldn’t expect from him. I was prepared for him and was leading the whole fight, not giving him the chance to control it.”
It was understandably a moment of great joy for the Azerbaijan native who resides in Ukrainian.
“I was very happy and proud,” said the 30-year-old boxer-puncher, who is ranked No. 3 by THE RING at 112 pounds. “It was my dream to become a world champion. I have been working up to this a lot and I’ve proved that I’m worth it.”
Dalakian initially celebrated the title victory in Los Angeles with his team before returning to Ukraine where he was warmly greeted at the airport by fans, media and family. He will enjoy a couple of weeks rest before heading back to the gym to prepare for his maiden defense.
Shortly after winning the title, news filtered through from the WBA that Dalakian must face mandatory challenger Sirichai Thaiyen (50-3, 35 KOs) within 120 days.
Union Boxing Promotions, who represent Dalakian, first staged a show in June 2000. Yuriy Ruban, the company president, is currently working on securing a bout for their second world titleholder.
“For now, we are planning Dalakian to hold the mandatory defense, proposed by the WBA championship committee, in Ukraine,” explained Ruban. “For now, we haven’t got any news on this fight.”
Having made a successful appearance in America, could Dalakian find himself returning for a spot on SuperFly 3 later this year?
“We didn’t discuss with Tom Loeffler a possible participation of Artem Dalakian in the next SuperFly card, but we wouldn’t exclude such a possibility.” Ruban said.
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