Jorge Arce will go for his "fifth world title" at bantamweight. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
BoxingScene.com is reporting that Jorge Arce has vacated his WBO super bantamweight title, which he won with a big upset of Wilfredo Vazquez Jr on May 7 and defended once on September 24, in order to drop back down to 118 pounds and go for another belt, which he thinks will make him Mexico's first five-division world champion.
There is talk that the WBO will order a Nonito Donaire vs Wilfredo Vazquez Jr fight for the vacant belt, but we'll get back to that in a moment.
On Arce and a fifth title: It really wouldn't be a fifth title, just like he really doesn't have four. Arce's title belt at flyweight was an interim title. Yes, he defended it a lot and it was probably more legit than a lot of title reigns out there, but them's the rules, and the rules is the rules. Arce was not officially the world champion of the WBC when he held that title. This has been presented to him as fact, but while he probably understands that, he likes laying claim to being the first man in Mexican boxing history to win four world titles. That's actually Erik Morales, who had the WBC junior welterweight title all but gift-wrapped in September.
But this is the point I made in September: What may have at one point been a big, emotional, meaningful moment devolved into a race to see who could snag the cheapest fourth belt the easiest (Morales wins! Bingo!) and now will become a useless exercise in belt-chasing.
You know how I know that's what it'll become? Because the WBO has a vacant belt at 118 and they're apparently going to sanction Arce vs Angky Angkota for that title. This is a gift wrap situation for Arce now. Arce and Angkota already fought once. If you didn't see it, it happened in January 2010 and wasn't competitive or interesting. Angkota's thrilling game plan of "stand by ropes and get punched at" may have been a good one on paper, but surprise! It didn't work out.
Anyway, Arce vs Angkota was for the vacant WBO belt at 115 pounds. So what has Angkota done to position himself for a title at 118? Well let's see. Ah, yes -- he took 16 months off and then defeated the mighty Federico Catubay to win the vacant WBO Asia Pacific belt. OK, good, so we're getting top challengers. Arce vs Angkota II: The Reckoning would happen on November 26 in Mexico.
As for Donaire vs Vazquez at 122, that's much more interesting. Top Rank wants the fight, which means the fighters want the fight, and it would happen in February. It's a good matchup and a legit test for Donaire moving up to super bantamweight.
Actually, I guess that's really all I have to say about that fight for now. Wore myself out on the Arce business.