With Mexican veteran and decided underdog Jorge “El Travieso” Arce (61-6-2, 46 KO’s) not likely to build a lead this weekend against pound-for-pound prizefighter and defending WBO junior featherweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire (30-1, 19 KO’s), nor for that matter mount a serious comeback down the backstretch as he did against Vazquez Jr., a common opponent of the two, there seems to a method to the madness in what looks to be a mismatch.
Apparently promoter Bob Arum is hearing voices in the wind, voices calling for Donaire to face off with stablemate and undefeated WBA 122 pound champion Guillermo “El Chacal” Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KO’s) in a unification bout, so that Guillermo will make an appearance on the undercard as the co-featured attraction.
This two-time Cuban Olympic Gold Medalist and stellar ring talent is in the opinion of many a legitimate threat to Donaire. Wanting to get at the Filipino for quite some time, Rigondeaux would opine that if Donaire is still reluctant to face him based on his belief that he [Rigondeaux] will run around or go into a defensive shell as have many of Nonito’s latest opponents, to include Toshiaki Nishioka and Omar Narvaez, that Guillermo would meet him in a reduced size ring.
“If he doesn’t want a Narvaez fight, I will agree to a 15-foot ring. This guy is not a real man, he’s a traitor to Top Rank. Stop hiding behind your manager and your wife, I’m ready to fight,” stated Rigondeaux. “If Top Rank allows me to get a fight with this traitor, I will put him to sleep. After I get done, he’ll be shooting pictures permanently,” taking a crack at Donaire’s recent interest in ringside photography.
As concerns Nonito, he’s stated that more or less because of Rigondeaux’s conservative non fan friendly style where he puts out very little in the way of offense, he’s willing, but not enthralled about entertaining such a match up, finding it difficult to get motivated for the Cuban, especially as regards going through an eight or ten week training camp.
“He’s [Rigondeaux] calling me out and that’s fine,” said Donaire. “But I believe that he is a boring fighter. That’s straight out, he’s a boring fighter. If you guys want to see another Narvaez fight, because I know I am going to hurt him and you already know that when I hurt the guy they tend to put their gloves up, if you guys want to see that I am fine with that. I never turn down a fight.”
Donaire’s position from an athletic perspective is well understood, as Rigondeaux has had his share of sub par performances as well as inconsistencies. Outside of dusting off a fighter even more tentative than himself in Rico Ramos to initially garner his currently held WBA title, “El Chacal” on the heels of this would put together a solid stoppage performance against fringe prospect Teon Kennedy.
However, subsequent to this, the former amateur phenom in his most recent appearance against Roberto Marroquin would regress somewhat. For even though the Cuban would garner a unanimous decision, he would be exposed significantly by Marroquin, as Roberto would with a left hook wobble Rigondeaux numerous times, unfortunately for Guillermo this particular blow being Nonito Donaire’s primary weapon of choice.
With that said, “El Chacal” realizes that this is a grand opportunity to turn the clamor of contending with “The Filipino Flash” into a reality. To do this he must not only win against upcoming Thai opponent Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym in the co-main event, but he must win impressively.
With the public constantly nagging Nonito to finally confront the Cuban fighter in what could be a potential unification match, the Filipino is well aware that this is a bout fight fans urgently want to see. Besides, cleaning out the division was one of Donaire’s initial goals so that Rigondeaux, assuming he get’s by Kratingdaenggym, will still hold a piece of the puzzle.
“I want to get all the belts,” said Nonito. “That’s always been me. I’ve always wanted to get all the belts and fight all the champions in the weight class.”
First things first however and that’s dealing with Jorge Arce. “El Travieso” has perhaps become quite inspired as of late considering another pound-for-pound Filipino prizefighter in the personage of one Manny Pacquiao has bitten the dust at the hands of fellow countryman and aging Mexican warrior Juan Manuel Marquez, so that Arce will endeavor to do likewise.
Speaking of Marquez, it’s quite the coincidence that Juan Manuel’s strength and conditioning coach Angel Heredia, an admitted steroids dealer who says he’s cleaned up his act, has reportedly made his way into the Arce camp. Whatever the case, Jorge Arce will have to dig deep to give himself a chance victory, while at the same time he must avoid digging his own hole.
And although Donaire and Arce are chummy to the point that from the outside looking in it would appear that Nonito is doing a friend a favor in the form of presenting Arce his perhaps last significant boxing payday, it remains to be seen how well the pound-for-pound fighter separates business from friendship, especially considering he’s quite intent on knocking his opponents out.
“Everybody is entitled to their opinion and how they see fights,” concluded Donaire. “To me, I don’t like to go the distance. There is no satisfying victory unless it’s a knockout.”
In finality, with Arce more than likely coming out aggressive as is his nature, unless he connects with something to put the champion on the defensive or take him out, he in opening up may very well go the way of compatriot Fernando “Kochulito” Montiel who was brutally kayoed in short time.
Don’t miss the action on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT, as live from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire will defend his WBO junior featherweight title, as well as his WBC Diamond belt against the likes of 5 division world champion Jorge “El Travieso” Arce , a man who insists that he knows how to separate business from friendship.
“Nonito and I are good friends, but unfortunately this is a business. Expect the “Fight of the Year” on December 15th, and I’m going to win this fight.”
Not to be outdone, Donaire would counter, “I do my talking inside the ring. I believe that being a professional boxer means you have to carry yourself well. I’m a professional. This is my job. This is what I do. The fight’s not going to go the distance. It sucks to go the distance!”