Not sure what the thinking is by having this fight in Houston other than a good deal on the venue and enough fight fans in the megapolis to raise some ruckus at the gate. Plenty of Mexicanos around the Houston area and Arce has become something of a Mexican legend as one of the most active, all action, big slugging fighters of his era, 61-6-2, 46 KO. His dizzying title record is 24-4 in 5 different weight classes as he keeps on keeping on a roll.
Now he’s queued up against a Ring P4Per and Filipino legend in the making, Nonito Donaire who is coming off a spectacular win over Japanese legend, Toshiaki Nishioka, knocking him down twice before the TKO stoppage. For purists, it started as a cautious cat and mouse game as Donaire switched to the orthodox stance to carefully pile up points on the puzzled Nishoka who cautiously avoided whatever trap Donaire was trying to set. Then they started to trade which lead to the 1st knockdown, a beautiful left hook to the body followed by a left uppercut that put the Japanese champion down. Nishioka easily beat the count and continued to pick his own big shots, but to no avail. After knocking Donaire into the ropes, he rushed in for the finish and was caught by a picture perfect short right hand, and that was that when he got up unsteady and his corner waved the white towel of surrender.
With only 31 fights and still fresh from his stylish boxer/puncher form at age 30, it stands to reason that Donaire, 30-1, 19 KO will be the big favorite over the aging Arce who has 70 really tough mano a mano fights on his odometer at 33 years of age.
What could prove troublesome is that Donaire will be only two months removed from his last fight, a dangerous scheduling move against the big punching Arce who has defied dwindling expectations before with big knockouts. Most recently he knocked highly regarded Wilfredo Vazquez Jr stupid last year for the stoppage and his 5th title whereas Donaire struggled to a split decision win over Vazquez to open this year. Donaire then endured a bruising battle against the huge Jeffrey Mathebula before the Nishioka fight, so oddly enough he may not be as fresh as Arce who has fought lower tier opposition this year, an easy year for him so far.
Of course Donaire can easily box and move Arce around to win on points, but this kid has big money dreams and wants to look spectacular, thus the inherent danger in this bout.
Perhaps even more dangerous is Donaire’s use of convicted BALCO felon, Victor Conte, who has him on some two dozen various pills and concoctions to be downed at timed intervals during the day. When Conte’s other client, Andre Berto tested positive for trace steroids, well, rats are always the first to jump sinking vessels and Conte was nowhere to be found to stick up for his client.
It would be a major shame if Donaire became tarnished because of this association, but it is what it is and such is the current state of boxing with another BALCO drug peddler, Angel Heredia AKA Angel Hernandez, training Juan Manuel Marquez who has taken some considerable stick over his newly ripped musculature. He also works with Arce, begging the questions.
Shouldn’t these new age witch doctors of alchemy be forced to register the contents of these newly created snake oils transforming this new breed of supermen? Could the trainers pass WADA/VADA/USADA drug testing? How about the honchos that run the myriad of boxing orgs and promotions, could they? The media? The fans? The testers?
The short answer is, “No.”
CANCELLED-PK fail medical>>>-The undercard is a boxing purist dream come true with Cuban Olympic Boxing legend Guillermo Rigondeaux, 11-0, 8 KO, goes against a modern Thai legend, Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym, 48-2, 33 KO, a classic example of when numbers can lie absent context. Rigondeaux is a two time Olympic gold medalist with some 400 amateur fights to add on to his spare 59 professional rounds boxed and 5 WBA superbanty title wins. Kratingdaenggym was matched hard from his pro start in the very competitive Thai boxing system with too many PABA and other regional title bouts to count, but also sporting a 4-1 record of the belt that Rigondeaux currently owns to go with his 339 pro rounds.
CANCELLED-PK fail medical>>>-Two more contrasting systems in the boxing world cannot be found, and now they’ll be clashing. Smart money is on Rigondeaux who will be the money fighter in his newly adopted homeland, so it’s up to Kratingdaenggym to take the fight to him and either show substantial class over him and still risk losing the decision, or knock him cold, the closest thing to a guaranteed win in sports which makes boxing in a class unto itself.
Santa really did come early to December in the boxing world with too many good and great matchups to count, not the least of which was the Pacquiao/Marquez shocker that knocked the known universe into a wobble on it’s axis. Now we reprise another classic Mexican vs Filipino matchup, a great way for boxing to close out the year for a change, so cheers to that and bottoms up, it’s déjà all over again!