Donaire battles old foe Darchinyan

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HIS CAREER stalled by a painful defeat, Nonito Donaire returns to action against an old rival whom he once knocked out cold to skyrocket to fame.

Popular sports website ESPN.com reported yesterday that Donaire will face Vic Darchinyan on Nov. 9 in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Donaire is coming off a defeat to Cuban Gullermo Rigondeaux, whose ring craftsmanship was a puzzle that confounded Donaire during their bout last April.

ESPN, quoting Top Rank’s Bob Arum, reported that the fight will be at featherweight. The venue is tentatively at American Bank Center.

Darchinyan had been reluctant at any rematch beyond the 122-lb division but finally agreed to the fight to seek redemption.

Donaire scored a fifth-round knockout against heavy favorite Darchinyan in 2007 for the world flyweight belt. The fight proved to be the crossroads for both fighters.

Donaire became the prince in the Philippine boxing kingdom ruled by eight-division champ Manny Pacquiao while the Armenian-Australian Darchinyan (39-5-1, 28 KOs) went on a tailspin.

But Darchinyan, now 37, has strung up two impressive victories to suddenly become relevant again. Donaire (31-2-0 with 20 KOs) hopes another win over Darchinyan will put his career back on track after that loss to Rigondeaux. Marc Anthony Reyes

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