Top pound-for-pound Filipino-American star Nonito Donaire just may have solidified his Fighter of the Year award for 2012 by knocking out the Mexican veteran star Jorge Arce at the end of the third round in Houston, Texas at the Toyota Center.
Donaire patiently waited and countered Arce for much of the fight.
Arce was overly cautious in the first round, backing up and not willing to trade shots with the WBO super bantamweight champion, who knocked him down once in the second round and twice in the third round.
It was clear that the majority of the fight fans and media were right calling this fight an easy one-sided beatdown for the 30-year-old Donaire, who is very much still in his prime in comparison to the 33-year-old Mexican veteran who has made a career of punishing himself through many exciting bloody wars.
Donaire looked dominant and sharp and fought a near-perfect fight.
Did Donaire Solidfy Fighter of the Year with his KO of Arce?
Of course, this fight between Donaire vs. Arce would have been a lot better had they fought years earlier.
I remember all the way back in 2008 walking out of the Manny Pacquiao vs. David Diaz fight with Nonito and his wife Rachel, and back then I felt Nonito was not getting the love and recognition he should be getting having knocked out Vic Darchinyan and a number of impressive dominating wins back to back.
All three of us were walking in the lobby of the Mandalay Bay and most of the Filipino fans were not even noticing Nonito.
But then we bumped into Jorge Arce and his wife.
Nonito asked Jorge for his phone number and if I could take a picture of them together.
Then some fans noticed this and began to ask both Nonito and Arce for their pictures and autographs.
I told Rachel that Nonito needs to fight this guy cause he is the big-money fight at your guy's weight class that will make you the most money and turn him into a big star overnight.
Jorge's wife heard me say this and began to laugh, and I felt bad because I assumed she could not either understand English or hear us talking, but she did.
Jorge's wife is rather lovely and took what I said as a compliment.
Fast forward to Saturday night four years later, and four weight classes higher these two warriors finally met inside the ring giving Nonito his career-high pay day of $1 million and Arce a good retirement check of $800,000.
You can not take anything away from Nonito; he is just that good that he makes most of his opponents go into survival mode, but perhaps his true challenges will be at 126 lbs or even 130 lbs?
The HBO commentating team praised Nonito for being one of the only fighters to take a big stand against performance-enhancement drugs in boxing by doing 365-days-a-year-random drug testing in a sport that has often been tainted by PEDs.
The way the commentators praised Nonito as soon as he knocked out Arce for doing random drug testing year round was almost like they were calling out Juan Manuel Marquez for his huge knockout of the year victory over Manny Pacquiao last weekend.
Arce and Marquez both use the same strength and conditioning coach who transformed the 39-year-old Marquez into an impressive body builder, and despite much speculation, Marquez confidently passed his post-fight drug tests that some may argue are not as extensive as the tests that Nonito partakes in.
Speaking of HBO commentators, the boxing Hall of Fame commentator, Larry Merchant will now retire from calling the fights after 35 years, and Donaire vs. Arce was his final fight.
The way Arce looked Saturday night inside the ring, it might not be such a bad idea for him to retire as well like Larry, but with a big paycheck and a beautiful wife that he has waiting for him like a true champion should have.
King J is the B/R Boxing Community Leader and Featured Columnist.
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