Boxer Darchinyan dominates to keep superfly crowns

RANCHO MIRAGE: Armenian-born Australian Vic Darchinyan kept his World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association super flyweight titles Saturday with a unanimous decision over Mexico's Rodrigo Guerrero.

Judges gave dominating Darchinyan the victory by scores of 120-108, 118-110 and 117-111 in a fight where he pounded the challenger relentlessly round after round but could not claim his 28th career knockout triumph.

"This kid, I respect how he took punches," Darchinyan said. "I couldn't believe how he took punches. He kept coming back. I respect him. He's good. I thought I was going to stop him. I gave him good punches but I couldn't."

Darchinyan, 34, improved to 34-2 with one drawn while Guerrero, 22, fell to 13-2 with one drawn.

After opening early cuts over Guerrero's eyes, Darchinyan began inflicting punishing flurries upon the Mexican in the eighth round but could not send him down, Guerrero counter-atacking when Darchinyan was spent.

By the end, Guerrero was thwarted by being unable to do anything to threaten Darchinyan, but the Aussie could not impose an early end to the night.

Darchinyan might call an early end to his reign, however, saying after the fight he hopes to move up in weight.

"I would love to move up. I'm very powerful," Darchinyan said. "I could beat the champions there. I want to move up and fight better champions."

Darchinyan knocked out Mexico's Tomas Rojas in the second round three months ago at Rancho Mirage to keep his crowns after making an ill-fated rise to bantamweight last July, losing to Ghana's Joseph Agbeko.