Donaire calls Arce fight 'early Christmas gift'
MANILA, Philippines – World super bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire is looking forward to finally touching gloves with Mexican brawler Jorge Arce this December, after nearly four years of waiting for the fight to happen.
Donaire will defend his RING and World Boxing Organization (WBO) super bantamweight belts against Arce on December 15 at the Toyota Center in Houston.
“For four years, it’s been on and off schedule. It’s been scheduled so many times and it never happened,” Donaire said in an interview with The Overtime Page on YouTube.
Earlier this year, it was rumored that Donaire and Arce were finally going to face each other. But negotiations fell apart again, with the Mexican reportedly pricing himself out of the fight.
Donaire would go on to face top Japanese boxer Toshiaki Nishioka, beating him via a ninth-round technical knockout last October. Although he suffered a minor hand injury against the Japanese, Donaire agreed to face Arce in what would be his fourth fight in 2012.
“When this opportunity was given to me by (Top Rank chief executive) Bob (Arum), (manager) Cameron (Dunkin) came up to me and talked to me about it, to see if my hand was okay from the last fight,” Donaire related.
“I said, let me check with my doctor. If I’m at least 80% on the fight, I’m gonna take the fight and that’s what we had,” he added. “The decision by the doctor was that I was good by that time as long as I take care of my hand.”
Donaire said he is very excited to take on Arce in a fight that he believes is "good for boxing."
“I think this is a great fight and I’ve been chasing it for quite a while... To have this opportunity means a lot to me. It feels good, it’s like an early Christmas for me,” he said.
Even though Arce is the underdog, the Mexican has said repeatedly that he is confident he can pull off the upset and has promised a “bloody, hard” fight against “The Filipino Flash.”
This is something Donaire is looking forward to, especially as his recent fights have failed to provide the fireworks he is known for, despite the knockout of Nishioka.
“You see a guy that is not afraid to get hit. He said it himself, he loves to get hit, he loves to get hurt,” Donaire said of Arce.
Donaire was uncommonly active this year, fighting four times against highly rated opponents.
“It sharpens my skill. The more I get in there, the better I become,” Donaire said. “I love to fight, and the most that I can, I’ll take it.”