On the eve of Mexican Independence Day, it was South African fighter Simphiwe Nongqayi who stole the show on an action-packed night of fights from south of the border.
Nongqayi (16-0, 6 KO) captured the vacant IBF junior bantamweight title in a dominant victory over Mexican warrior and hero Jorge Arce, winning on official scores of 117-112, 117-111 and 116-112. Bad Left Hook scored the bout 118-110 for Nongqayi.
For the 30-year old Arce, the question rises again. Was this it for the warrior? Arce (52-6-1, 40 KO) looked slow, small, and just plain shot against the clever Nongqayi, who barely let Arce into the fight at all, showing an excellent ability to control range on the lunging, shorter Mexican. To put it simply, Nongqayi owned the ring en route to vanquishing his second Arce brother in a row. Nongqayi beat Jorge's younger brother, Fernando, in February, which earned him a shot at the title Vic Darchinyan held. Darchinyan vacated the title after his loss to Joseph Agbeko at 118 pounds, at which time the IBF had told him he must fight Nongqayi next. Darchinyan also destroyed Arce earlier this year.
I'm not saying I think he will quit now, but I do believe Jorge Arce probably should so long as he's got his finances in order. Prior to this fight, he'd badly lost his last two bouts against top-level foes (Darchinyan and Cristian Mijares). He reeled off five straight wins between those two losses, but one was highly questionable (Devid Lookmahanak) and the other four were against guys that just weren't on his level.
His last two fights can't even really be called exciting, which was always his calling card. No, he was never a great talent, but he had a truckload of heart and was never afraid to get hit if that's what he had to do. Both Darchinyan and Nongqayi just embarrassed him and won the bouts going away.
Nongqayi is now stuck in that tough spot of being a titlist with good skills but absolutely no name anywhere besides South Africa, which is going to make it hard for him to find good opponents unless a major promoter really gets behind him. Both the Arce brothers probably thought they'd beat this guy, and neither of them came particularly close.
- In the main event from Puebla, Edgar Sosa knocked out Omar Soto in the sixth round to make a successful tenth defense of his WBC junior flyweight strap
- On Puebla's undercard, Saul Alvarez took out Carlos Herrera in the first round to improve to 29-0-1, and Carlos Zarate Jr. made his pro debut with a knockout of Miguel Angel Tejeda at 1:02 of the first round. Tejeda was carried out on a stretcher after the right hook that finished the fight, and fitted with a neck brace.
- On the Cancun undercard, Humberto Soto bombed out a clearly overmatched Aristides Perez to retain his 130-pound title and possibly set up a 135-pound title fight with unbeaten slugger Edwin Valero on the Cotto-Pacquiao undercard, at least if Bob Arum can get his way and both fighters actually want that as much as they claim they do. I maintain my doubts, and Soto proved nothing new with this win, but he really knocked the stuffing out of Perez, ending it in the second round. Perez did a semi-Zab Judah chicken dance before the referee mercifully called it off.
- Also in Cancun: Ulises Solis scored two knockdowns and benefited from one on himself not being called, but only slightly so as he pretty well pummeled Panamanian Dirceu Cabarca over eight rounds, winning 80-71 on every card, as well as Bad Left Hook's. Off TV, Samuel Peter finished Ronald Bellamy in the second round to continue his trip down Comeback Road. Results are not yet in for Omar Chavez-Jessie Davis.