2009-02-07 Vic Darchinyan w rtd 11 Jorge Arce, The Pond, Anaheim, California, USA - WBA/WBC/IBF

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2009-02-07 Vic Darchinyan w rtd 11 Jorge Arce, The Pond, Anaheim, California, USA - WBA/WBC/IBF. Referee: Lou Moret.

On 11 April at the Prefectural Gym, Osaka, Japan, in an all-Japanese fight, Nobuo Nashiro stopped Konosuke Tomiyama in the eighth round to retain the WBA ‘second tier’ title.

A month or so later, on 18 July at the Convention Centre, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Tomas Rojas won the vacant WBC ‘interim’ title when forcing Everardo Morales to retire at the end of the ninth round.

This was followed by Darchinyan vacating the IBF version of the title on 27 July when unable to meet the timescale for a defence against South Africa’s Simphiwe Nongqayi, and to find a new champion the IBF set up a fight between Nongqayi and Arce, who had just defeated Fernando Lumacad.

The vacant WBA ‘interim’ title was up for grabs on 15 August at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, but when Rafael Concepcion came in over the weight only Nonito Donaire could win it, which he did after securing a unanimous points decision.

With Darchinyan still recognised as the ‘super’ champion, Nashiro successfully defended the WBA ‘second tier’ crown when drawing over 12 rounds with Hugo Fidel Cazares at the Prefectural Gym, Osaka, Japan on 30 September.

Following this, Rojas made a successful defence of the WBC ‘interim’ title when outscoring Evans Mbamba at the World Trade Centre, Vera Cruz, Mexico on 24 October.