Javier Capetillo, the suspended trainer of Antonio Margarito, had been working with Arce in recent fights, but given the scheduling conflict and the fact that he wanted to train in Toluca, Arce went back to trainer Tiburico Garcia for his fight on Feb. 7 with Vic Darchinyan.
Had Arce kept Capetillo as a cornerman and tried to work out a training camp that included Capetillo, he'd be without a trainer for his upcoming fight right now. Sort of lucky.
Arce (51-4-1, 39 KO) and Darchinyan (31-1-1, 25 KO) are on a collision course that has been talked about for a couple of years now. Before the fight could be made before, Arce was obliterated by Cristian Mijares in April 2007.
Since that one-sided loss, Arce has gone 5-0 (4). He stepped up to 118 pounds for two nights, knocking out Tomas Rojas on a body shot and drilling Medgoen Singsurat in the first round. Since coming back to 115, he's won a majority decision over Devid Lookmahanak, stopped Rafael Concepcion in a Mexican Independence Day war, and then two months later knocked out Isidro Garcia.
Right now, Arce's on a roll. But Darchinyan is red-hot.
Darchinyan's first career loss came at the hands of Nonito Donaire in July 2007. Vic's lights were turned off by one of the most perfect left hook counters you'll ever see, but it wasn't a one-punch deal. Donaire was smoking Darchinyan for the entire fight before putting him to sleep in the fifth round.
Like Arce, Darchinyan has rebounded. He jumped from 112 pounds to 115, and has gone 3-0-1, with his draw coming against Z Gorres, which has been disputed by many who saw the fight. In his last two fights, he has manhandled Dimitri Kirilov and the same Mijares that bloodied and blasted Arce for 12 rounds. Darchinyan was a big underdog in that second fight, but he shook Mijares up and knocked him down in the first round, and every moment of the fight was his until it was stopped in the ninth.
Right now, conventional wisdom says that Arce, an old 29 compared to Darchinyan's rather young 33, will get hammered by the powerful, confident Darchinyan. But the last time Darchinyan came into a fight overconfident, he got his ass kicked.
The trash talking has been legendary. It seems like a fight where the two men genuinely don't respect one another. Both are notorious loudmouths, and this is a press conference match made in heaven -- or hell, depending on your point of view.
Said Arce, "He thinks he's an intimidator. He always tells people what he will do and they get intimidated. But, I'm not that type of guy. His words won't affect me. He can say and talk about what he is going to do to me in the ring, but I'm not going to fold. I'm a bigger guy than him. He won't intimidate me."
"I don't care. I'm going to knock him out," replied Darchinyan.
A conference call was the source of more great quotes.
From Arce: "I'll give them blood. I don't mind getting some blood in there. If I get blood on me, I love that. It gets me motivated and gets me excited and more aggressive."
And from Darchinyan: "I want to play with him like a cat plays with a mouse. I'm going to show him how dumb he is. I'm going to punish him."
Darchinyan is even talking about finishing Arce off: "On February 7th you won't be able to hide behind a phone or your manager's skirt, it will only be you and me. It's taken three years for you to have the balls to face me, maybe your manager wants one last payday from you. Enjoy your last fight!"
However long it lasts, it's going to be a good one.