MANILA, Philippines – Nonito Donaire Jr. will beat Jorge Arce, but don’t expect it to be a blowout victory for the "Filipino Flash," a boxing expert said on Saturday.
Atty. Danrex Tapdasan, a veteran referee who has seen numerous wars inside the ring, said fans should expect the rough Mexican to bring the fight to Donaire.
“A lot of people will be very surprised tomorrow. It would not be a massacre that everyone would predict,” Tapdasan said in an interview on dzMM’s Sports Chat.
Donaire, who will put his World Boxing Organization (WBO) super bantamweight title on the line, is seen as a heavy favorite going into the fight because his ring savvy is in stark contrast to Arce’s brawling style.
But Tapdasan said the Mexican would probably swarm Donaire with punches and pressure the Filipino boxer to commit mistakes.
Another plus for Arce, said the referee, is his Mexican fighting spirit.
“Arce is the epitome of a real Mexican warrior,” said Tapdasan. “Si Arce is one of the greatest punchers ever… matapang, hindi sumusuko.”
Tapdasan cited 2 other factors that could affect the bout.
One is Donaire’s hand injury, and the other is his short preparation time for the Arce fight.
“Tandaan natin, pagkatapos ng huling laban ni Donaire last October meron siyang hand injury, nakita natin yan,” said the referee.
“For this fight, Nonito admitted that he just trained for 5 weeks and a half. Maikli lang ang preparasyon nya dito,” added Tapdasan.
Donaire’s left hand has been prone to injuries in his recent fights.
In his WBO title clash against Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. last February, the Filipino Flash ruptured a vein in the left hand while carving out a split-decision victory.
Against Toshiaki Nishioka last October, Donaire also sustained a small cut in the same hand as he hammered the Japanese with a ninth-round stoppage.
But Tapdasan believes Donaire will still overcome Arce with a convincing win.
“Nonito will win this fight convincingly,” he said. “And kung hindi magkaroon ng cut [si Arce], I think Arce will survive with a decision loss to Donaire.”
Donaire battles Arce at the Toyota Center in Houston on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
The fight card will be aired locally by ABS-CBN Channel 2 on Sunday starting 11 a.m.
There will be replays on Studio 23 on Monday, 9:30 p.m. and on Balls Channel on Friday, 6:30 p.m.