Four-division titlewinner Jorge Arce has a reputation for being fearless, relentless and for not backing down in his fights.
A 33-year-old from Los Mochis, Mexico, Arce (61-6-2, 46 knockouts) takes an unbeaten streak of 9-0-1 that includes six knockouts into Saturday night’s clash with Nonito Donaire, whose RING and WBO junior featherweight belts will be on the line in their match up from Houston’s Toyota Center.
Arce’s run includes a come-from-behind 12th-round stoppage of previously unbeaten Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. in May of last year during which he rose from a fourth-round knockdown to end Vazquez’s streak of five consecutive knockouts.
In February, two bouts after facing Arce, Vazquez Jr. gave Donaire (30-1, 19 KOs) all that he could handle on the way to falling by split-decision in a slug-fest during which the loser was dropped in the ninth round.
“I have come to fight and to leave it all in the ring. After this fight, Nonito will know what it is to fight a real warrior,” said Arce, during Wednesday’s final press conference promoting their fight.
“I know that not many people think I can win this fight, but that just motivates me more to win the fight. I have trained very hard to give the fans a great fight and to take home all of Nonito’s belts.”
Donaire-Arce continues the Filipino-Mexican rivalry on the heals of last weekend’s sixth-round knockout victory by Mexican four-division titlewinner Juan Manuel Marquez over Philippines national hero Manny Pacquiao, who was left lying face-first and motionless on the canvas.
Pacquiao’s loss dropped his mark against notable fighters of Mexican decent to 12-2-1 with seven knockouts, and transferred tremendous expecations upon Donaire to revive his nation’s dashed hopes.
“I am looking to give Mexico another great satisfaction this Saturday here in Houston by beating Nonito,” said Arce.
“Nonito is a great champion, but his opponents give him to much respect and are intimidated by him before the fight evens starts. But will not be case with me.”
Although he is not looking past Arce, Donaire will be shooting for a knockout.
“Don’t anyone worry about me. I am going to be very focused and determined in the ring. I will not get careless,” said Donaire. “I know what I am facing in Arce — a champion who has a will to win. I know all there is about Arce, but this fight will not go 12 rounds. No way.”
Nonito Donaire KO Jorge Arce: Jorge Arce will be as successful in this one as he was on El Gran Desafio de Estrellas.
It’s too bad that after years of thrilling fights, only now does he get an HBO main event and the payday that comes along with it–and it’s in a fight he just cannot win against Nonito Donaire.
Nonito Donaire KO 3 Jorge Arce: Jorge Arce has the fighting style that can make Nonito Donaire salivate. The Mexican warrior’s relentless forward approach is tailor made for Flash’s counter left hook.
Donaire will fight smart, waiting for Arce to commit a predictable punch combination, and then, BAM!
Nonito Donaire TKO 10 Jorge Arce: At the age of 33, Jorge Arce is a young man, yet an old fighter with 69 bouts on his resume. He’s clever, tough to beat and harder to stop.
Resilience has been an Arce trademark. But not even that lasts forever. Nonito Donaire figures to crack that resilience. His power is well-documented and his motivation has never been bigger. In a year-end bout, Donaire can re-assert his claim on Fighter-of-the-Year honors with a rare stoppage of an enduring name.
Nonito Donaire W 12 Jorge Arce: Any fight involving Jorge Arce will be exciting, and his all-out attack will force Nonito Donaire to bring out his best stuff.
Unfortunately for Arce, Donaire’s best stuff is among the best there is in the sport. Arce has a terrific chin, and it’s likely he’ll go the distance with Donaire — unless cuts prevent him from doing so.
Donaire is in the running for Fighter of the Year, and a victory over Arce, combined with his wins over Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., Jeffrey Mathebula and Toshiaki Nishioka, will cement a lot of votes.
Nonito Donaire TKO 8 Jorge Arce: I pick Nonito Donaire by eigth round TKO. Jorge Arce will show heart, but Nonito will cut him up.
Nonito Donaire KO5 Jorge Arce. Much has been said about the involvement of Jorge Arce’s strength coach, Angel Heredia Hernandez, in this fight.
However, compared to Hernandez’s other charge Juan Manuel Marquez having previously established stylistic dilemmas against Manny Pacquiao, that is not the case here in terms of how Arce matches up with Nonito Donaire.
I expect Arce to come forward and bring the fight to Donaire. But as we’ve seen countless times over the past few years, that’s how one ends up on the canvas against “The Filipino Flash.”
I think Donaire lands a counter left hook to floor Arce, finish 2012 at a sparkling 4-0 in a brand new division, and solidify his claim as Fighter of the Year.
Nonito Donaire KO 3 Jorge Arce: I really didn’t want to see this fight get made because I really like Jorge Arce. I like him for all the things he brings to the sport, for his warrior spirit, his affability, and his accessibility to both fans and media.
But none of those assets, save the warrior spirit, will help him against Nonito Donaire. I don’t really care to see a terrific guy like Jorge get beat up, but that’s the long tradition of boxing, a fine old champ going out on his sword against younger blood.
Nonito is special. He’s too young, too big, too rangy, too versatile, too strong, too powerful, just too much of everything for Jorge. While I don’t have any question Arce will give it all he’s got, I think its up to Donaire how long the fight lasts, and I don’t believe that will be very long.
Nonito Donaire KO Jorge Arce: Remember the scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom when the villain pulled a beating heart out of a chest. That’s about what this fight chalks up to. On paper, this is ritual slaughter.
Jorge Arce’s career has been in a pattern for years. He fights fun fights against B-sides and faded names he managed not to tempt when they were good, gets matched with a live top talent and loses, rinse and repeat.
Wilfredo Vazquez II was an anomaly to that equation — and might not qualify as top talent — as well as a testament to his longevity. But here he’s smaller, slower, and facing a lethal puncher in Nonito Donaire.
If it’s competitive, that might be the Upset of the Year. It’s the perfect fight to make Donaire look like King Kong, and if he’s in the sort of zone he was for Voldymyr Sydorenko and Fernando Montiel, this could be over anywhere from the first to the sixth.
The only thing interesting about this fight on paper is that Guillermo Rigondeaux-Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym is on the undercard. That is a fascinating fight between a talent needing a test and a test needing a platform. It’s the real reason to tune in.
Nonito Donaire KO 7 Jorge Arce: Love this fight. A complete fighter in his prime in Nonito Donaire vs. a warrior with loads of experience in Jorge Arce.
This fight will definitely be entertaining — as long as it lasts. I think Arce will fight with the spirit we expect of him. However, his aggression will lead to his demise, as he will walk directly into Donaire’s formidable arsenal.
I think Donaire will begin to break down Arce in the middle rounds and stop him with one big shot shortly thereafter. Donaire by seventh-round KO.
Nonito Donaire KO 5 Jorge Arce: Nonito Donaire may be the next boxing superstar. Jorge Arce is a fun fighter, who’s on the downside. I see this as an easy night for Donaire.
Nonito Donaire KO 3 Jorge Arce: I’m picking Nonito Donaire by KO in three, this has one-sided blitzing written all over it. I think Donaire’s superior size, speed and mastery of distance make him just about the worst possible style matchup for Jorge Arce to deal with.
If the idea was to make sure that Donaire ended the year with a bang, they are well on their way to doing so.
Nonito Donaire KO 7 Jorge Arce: Now that Manny Pacquiao has been knocked out, Nonito Donaire holds the hopes of the Filipino people in his hands. And he will take that seriously. Jorge Arce will bring the fight to Donaire, that we know.
Donaire will be careful in attacking Arce and will pick his spots. I see a left hook plowing into Arce’s temple and dropping Arce in the seventh or eighth round. Donaire by KO, seventh round.
By an overwhelming, 13-0, the experts believe RING champion Nonito Donaire will prevail against Jorge Arce.
Photos by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com