Jorge Arce was supposed to be too worn out. Instead, he stole the show last night. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Going into last night's Pacquiao vs Mosley card, a few -- a minority, but a few -- were entertaining the idea that 39-year-old Shane Mosley could turn in "one more great performance," as we have seen old fighters do.
Just last month, Erik Morales bucked the odds and went toe-to-toe with supposed murderous puncher Marcos Maidana for 12 full rounds, nearly pulling out a win despite fighting one-eyed for 11½ of those rounds. The trouble with hoping Mosley would do it, is that Mosley already had that performance, in 2009 against Antonio Margarito. Margarito was a huge favorite, and many in boxing feared for the old Mosley's health. Instead, Mosley destroyed Margarito.
So last night, in reality, would have been a second "one last great fight" from Shane Mosley. And obviously, it didn't happen.
But in the show-stealing fight and performance of the night, 31-year-old Jorge Arce, fighting heavy at 122 pounds, pulled out his best fight in years. Arce, who has been bloodied and battered for years in career-shortening wars, was thought to be washed up even a few years ago, when he was noticeably slowing down and not able to bring the fury the way he used to.
Last night, Arce was Arce again. He relentlessly pursued Vazquez -- a fighter he complimented after the bout -- and pushed him to the ropes. Arce, as he always is, was willing to take punishment to dish it out in abundance. And though he was fighting too heavy and he was too damn old, Arce just would not go away.
In the end, he overpowered Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., who learned what it was like to be in a professional boxing ring with a man you can't make quit.
It's fair to focus on the "disappointment" -- or reality -- of Pacquiao vs Mosley. But spare a few thoughts for Jorge Arce, who once again proved himself to be among the most exciting fighters in the world. The inspiring performance was there at the MGM Grand last night. It came from "Travieso."