MANILA, Philippines – Mexican warrior Jorge Arce was the perfect opponent for world super bantamweight champion Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire, and it showed in their brief but exciting clash at the Toyota Center last Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
Boxing analyst Al Mendoza said Arce, a veteran of over 60 boxing matches, had a style that was perfectly suited for Donaire.
"Si Arce, parang si Smoking Joe (Frazier) – sugod ng sugod 'yan," Mendoza said in an interview on DZMM. "'Yang ganyang klase ng boksingero ay tailor-made para kay Donaire."
Known for his aggressive, brawling style, Arce was more cautious in the first round against Donaire yet still found himself on the receiving end of the Filipino’s jabs and right hooks.
After getting knocked down in the second round, Arce became more aggressive, but this only worked to Donaire's favor as "The Filipino Flash" landed more clean punches. In the third round, a combination sent Arce to the canvas again.
Though wobbly and groggy, Arce beat the eight count and even egged Donaire on. Donaire then connected on a series of right hooks to the head, and then, when Arce momentarily dropped his right hand, landed a crushing left hook on the jaw that sent the Mexican sprawling on the canvas.
Mendoza said Donaire's performance against Arce was a showcase of his natural boxing talent.
"Scientific si Donaire, kasi unang-una, wala siyang mga galaw at mga kilos na nasasayang. Lahat calculated," he said. "Kapag bumibitaw siya ng suntok, bibihira 'yung tapon lang."
"'Yung bitaw niya, halos sapol lahat, walang sayang talaga. Taglay niya na 'yan simula ng umpisa. Natural talent siya," Mendoza added.
Donaire also showed excellent ringsmanship as he constantly moved the action to the center of the ring.
"Gagamitin niya 'yung buong space ng ring. Sa gitna, mas nakakagalaw siya ng todo. Ganyan ang tatak ng scientific boxer," said Mendoza.
Before the fight, Mendoza had predicted that Donaire would win by an early knockout as he anticipated the Arce will be vulnerable to counters.
"Sa first round, basang-basa na ni Donaire. Tinira-tira niya na ng jab at kombinasyaon," he said. "Hindi nagbabago si Arce. Usually ang brawler, hindi nagbabago 'yan, basta sugod ng sugod 'yan."
"Ang mga sumusugod na boksingero, talagang tatamaan lagi 'yan ni Donaire na scientific bumitaw ng suntok," Mendoza said.
It was Donaire’s fourth fight in 2012, with each win getting more impressive than the last. After beating Puerto Rico’s Wilfredo Vazuquez via split decision in February, Donaire then defeated South African fighter Jeffrey Mathebula via unanimous decision in July.
He then knocked out Toshiaki Nishioka in nine rounds last October before crushing Arce in three rounds.
Nishioka and Arce both retired after losing to Donaire.