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Jr. featherweight king Nonito Donaire, Jr. hasn't fought an opponent that has readily engaged him in the boxing ring for quite some time now. On Saturday night in Houston, after his third round knockout win over Jorge Arce, fans were reminded why.
The Mexican warrior and former WBO jr. featherweight champion, Arce, braved the dangers of fighting a superb counterpuncher such as Donaire, and fought with more courage in three rounds than what some of the Filipino boxing superstar's recent opponents have shown in 12 full rounds. He even employed legendary Mexican trainer Ignacio "Nacho" Beristain and strength and conditioning coach Angel "Memo" Heredia to help him accomplish the task. In return, Arce received a butt-kicking that has convinced him it's time to call it a career.
Arce managed to keep things interesting for the first two rounds as he reached with his jabs and avoided a lot of Donaire's counters, until a counter-left hook dropped him in the second round, forcing him to keep the fight in close quarters from then on.
A paralyzing uppercut to the body and hooks to the chin sent Arce crashing to the canvas with about 25 seconds left in the third round. Instead of holding on, however, the fighter in Arce got the best of him as he chose to still trade with Donaire after getting back up on his feet. Donaire landed a solid uppercut on Arce's jaw, which the Mexican shrugged off and followed up by taunting his opponent to keep it coming. And came it did, as Donaire landed his signature left hook that put the final nail on Arce's coffin.
"You're the best," Arce told Donaire after the fight. It is perhaps in knowing that he bowed down to the best fighter in his division that has allowed Arce to accept his final ride into the sunset. Arce can definitely walk away with his chin up after earning a reputation of being a true Mexican warrior in the mold of Julio Cesar Chavez, Marco Antonio Barrera, and Erik Morales. His conqueror, on the other hand, is still growing his legend.
Can you say "Fighter of the Year?" Donaire definitely has my vote.
- CLICK HERE to watch a replay of the full fight between Nonito Donaire, Jr. vs. Jorge Arce.
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