Last night at the MGM Grand, Nonito Donaire and Jorge Arce sat ringside and watched Toshiaki Nishioka defeat Rafael Marquez via unanimous decision (recap), and they appear to be headed for a fight against one another in the first quarter of 2012.
Arce (58-6-2, 45 KO) just defeated Simphiwe Nongqayi on September 24 in Mexico, avenging a 2009 loss to the South African, and is currently being lined up to fight on the Pacquiao vs Marquez card on November 12. Meanwhile, Donaire (26-1, 18 KO) faces top super flyweight Omar Narvaez on October 22, in what is going to be Donaire's swan song at bantamweight.
With "The Filipino Flash" due to move up in weight, Arce would be his first opponent, followed by Nishioka next spring, in May or June. Donaire vs Arce has been discussed for a while now, and Arce is willing to take the fight (shocker, I know, Arce being willing to fight anyone). It would be a chance for Donaire to win a title belt as he moves up in weight, as "Travieso" holds the WBO super bantamweight belt, leading to a unification with Nishioka so long as the fight wasn't held on Japanese soil (the WBO is not recognized in Japan).
What are your thoughts here? Frankly, I think Donaire trounces Narvaez, Arce, and Nishioka, but that's just because Donaire is really that good of a fighter, and it's not a knock on any of those guys. All you can ask is that a fighter fight the best opponents, and we're talking about the top super flyweight (Narvaez), a rugged titlist at 122 (Arce), and the top super bantamweight in the world (Nishioka).