COMMENTARY | Philippines-based reporter, Ronnie Nathanielsz, is reporting that the on-again, off-again Nonito Donaire-Jorge Arce bout is a "done deal."
According to promoter Bob Arum, the bout is all but signed and set to take place in Houston, on December 15th. Given the date, it will likely be aired on HBO as the live fight paired with the replay of the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez bout, taking place on December 8.
There have been money issues associated with this bout from the very first moment it began to be negotiated. Donaire has claimed that the fight was called off previously due to Arce's demands for a larger purse. "The Filipino Flash" would even go so far as to say that Arce was afraid and holding out for more money because he knew he would lose. There was also some discussion of where this fight should actually take place. Rumors placed it in Mexico City while Houston now seems to be the preferred host city.
Whatever the case, this bout is a mismatch-- and an ugly one at that.
Arce, with the exception of his shocking upset TKO of Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. last year, has not looked impressive in quite some time and, at junior featherweight, appears to be at least two weight classes above his optimal weight.
After sixteen years of hard-fought contests, sixty-nine professional fights, and a career's worth of battles with the scale, the four-division world champ has little left in the tank and his most recent showings stand as proof positive. Still tough and entertaining, the popular fighter from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, has more name value than world class possibility these days.
This is the reason Team Donaire has been so focused on the idea of fighting Arce. After four straight competent, but less-than-stellar performances, Donaire needs a highlight reel knockout to remind fans why he is such a highly-regarded talent. Against Arce, Donaire has the ideal foe-- A faded fighter with a big name and a style that will allow the defending WBO junior featherweight titlist to look awesomely dominant.
This type of set-up matchmaking is commonplace in boxing and, to some extent, Donaire can be excused for this gimme after three solid wins over legitimate top 10 junior featherweights this year. Still, though, it needs to be said that this is a mismatch that will likely end early and could result in a serious injury. It proves nothing about Donaire as a pound-for-pound talent. Rather, it speaks volumes about Team Donaire's thirst for publicity and their hunger to recreate the acclaim their fighter got for knocking out Fernando Montiel last year and Vic Darchinyan four years prior to that.
Hopefully, Jorge Arce will be well-compensated for the ambush he's about to walk into.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico, and a close follower of the sport for more than 30 years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and The BoxingTribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing.
Ronnie Nathanielsz, Donaire-Arce Done Deal For 12/15, Vazquez-Gesta is On, Boxingscene
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