“Filipino Flash” Returns
By Anthony Ross
Tommorow night at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas the Mexico-Philippines rivalry continues as 4-time world champion and current WBO junior featherweight champion Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire (30-1 19KO) defends his title versus 5-time world champion Jorge “Travieso” Arce (61-6-2 46KO). Donaire has been on fire in 2012, jumping into the junior featherweight division and not missing a beat. This will mark the fourth fight for Donaire this year after beating Wilfredo Vasquez Jr. (SD) Jeffrey Mathebula (UD) and knocking out former division kingpin Toshiaki Nishioka in spectacular fashion over nine rounds in October. Donaire has been eyeing Arce for years since he was a stalwart in his prime in the lower weight classes. There are plenty of skeptics out there that have an issue with this fight simply because Arce is way past his prime looking for one last big fight before riding into the sunset. Donaire has been fighting the best fighters in the division over last two years not named Mares or Rigondeaux. By no means is this a knock on Donaire yet those are the two fighters fans wanna see Donaire in the squared circle with to solidify his status on the pound-for-pound list. Donaire who trains out of the Undisputed Gym in San Carlos, Calif. and hails from San Leandro, Calif. will look to put his stamp on the 2012 year as Donaire has already been mentioned as a candidate for “Fighter of the Year”. The “Filipino Flash” will attempt to win his 30th fight in a row tomorrow night.
Arce one of the more popular Mexican fighters over the last ten years because of his grit, determination and heart. Arce’s resume is impressive to say the least, turning pro in 1996 fighting the likes of Michael Carbajal (L TKO11) Christian Mijares (L UD) Tomas Rojas (TKO6) Vic Darchinyan (TDL11) and Wilfredo Vasquez Jr (TKO12) to name a few. Arce loves to go toe-toe with his opponent which could end up being his downfall with a sharpshooting opponent like Donaire. Arce comes in riding a nine fight win streak with a no-contest and a draw along the way. Arce’s last television appearance came versus the upstart Jesus Rojas on the under-card of Bradley-Pacquiao. Arce looked a step slow as Rojas was getting the better of him in round two until a accidental foul halted the bout as Arce was unable to continue. Plenty of critics believed Arce was in more of a fight then he realized and decided to take the high road figuring a big fight was in cards which ended up coming to fruition six months later. Yesterday at the final press conference Arce spiced up things by saying “What happened last weekend in Las Vegas with Pacquiao and Marquez is going to happen again. A new surprise.” In an interesting side note, Arce is working with conditioning coach Angel Heredia, the same Heredia who worked with Marquez for his bout with Pacquiao.
This fight should be all-action for as long as it lasts, Arce is a come forward fighter who loves to mix it up while Donaire will mix his speed and power which should be the difference. The co-main event featuring Guillermo Rigondeaux vs Poonswat Kratingdaenggym was cancelled due to Poonswat having a positive blood test result. The telecast will open with the replay of last week’s “Fight of the Year” candidate Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez IV starting at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on HBO. Saturday’s telecast is expected to be the last call from ringside for Hall of Fame and HBO commentator 81-year old Larry Merchant.
My Prediction – Donaire 4th Rd KO
Prediction Record 8-2