I’m not going to pretend that the Nonito Donaire and Jorge Arce main event, on HBO tomorrow night, has me enamored. That being said, I do think Donaire deserves credit for having a fourth fight this year; a large amount for an elite fighter these days with all of them being relevant Top 10 opponents, and Arce has spilled enough blood that I can’t begrudge him the opportunity to earn a big payday and fight in the spotlight.
While Toshiaki Nishioka didn’t give much of an effort to win, I think you have to give a good bit of that credit to Donaire. The Japanese veteran felt his power early and decided to look after his health more than put it all on the line to try and win. One of my main criticisms of Donaire has been what I felt was an inability to break down a cautious opponent and he proved that he could against arguably the best opponent of his career.
Against Arce , Nonito will have someone charging at him and offering the counter opportunities that he thrives on. Jorge’s game is dependent on getting in close and that is the weakest distance for Donaire, so Nonito needs to strike quickly and employ some side to side movement to maintain a manageable separation with which to get off his tremendous counters. In tight the uppercuts that were the demise of Nishioka will serve him well here too, though he likes some space to deliver that punch as well.
While Arce’s bread and butter mesh well with Donaire’s weakest point, it’s going to be tough for him to overwhelm the more talented and weight comfortable fighter. Jorge has been deemed over the hill several times in his career only to bounce back and prove pundits and fans premature in ending his time at the top. It’s very rare for a fighter in these lower weights with a brawling style to maintain the level he has competed at. Though there are hits and misses along the way, he never ceases to provide excitement and about 100 of his 122 pounds are in his cup.
I found the criticism of Travieso after the Jesus Rojas fight to be insulting. How many wars does a guy have to fight to prove himself to couch potatoes? Going on the internet and reading that Arce quit, quite frankly pissed me off. I was as disappointed as anyone that what looked like a FOTY candidate ended prematurely, but these things happen in boxing and this man has proven himself exceedingly past the point of me questioning his resolve.
One thing I do find pertinent from that fight is that Rojas was really moving him with his punches and that is not a good sign heading into a fight with Donaire. To pull off the shocker, Arce somehow needs to protect himself a bit on the way in and smother Donaire on the inside with a mauling grinding, body oriented attack. Asking for head movement and defense from the Mexican warrior is a tall order but he is going to need some to avoid the vicious counters from the Filipino star.
On to the fight, I’m sorry to say that I just can’t find a scenario where Arce pulls this off. I have no doubt he will bring everything he has to the ring and I expect another epic display of heart, but Donaire is just too tall of a mountain for him. Look for Arce to have his moments in tight but Nonito’s speed and power will prove too much and I expect him to take a wide decision with a knockdown or two along the way.
I was prepared to cover the Guillermo Rigondeaux & Poonsawat Krattindaenggym bout here and I honestly was considering calling for an upset. As much as I was looking forward to that bout, it pales in comparison to the news that caused the cancellation. So even though I usually end with what I like to think is a witty quip or a cry for war. I’m going to wrap this up by wishing the best for Krattingdaenggym and his loved ones in such a trying time. Stay well champ.
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