Jorge Arce is back to his original plan for February 18, rematching Lorenzo Parra, but now in a non-title fight. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
With Jorge Arce forced to take a non-title bout for his February 18 date in Mexico, the originally-scheduled rematch with Lorenzo Parra has been revived. From Jaime Alfredo Gomez of notifight.com, via BoxingScene:
"I wanted to defend my title, but the WBO would not approve Parra, with whom I have a draw. Parra is strong, and has a good boxing style, and that's why I'm going to prepare very well. God willing, I will beat him and then wait for the winner of Nonito Donaire and Wilfredo Vazquez Jr."
Arce (59-6-2, 45 KO) had his best campaign in years in 2011, upsetting Wilfredo Vazquez Jr on the Pacquiao vs Mosley card to win the WBO super bantamweight title, defending it once against Simphiwe Nongqayi (the last fighter to defeat Arce) then moving back down to win the sanctioning body's title at 118 pounds in late November, essentially switching places with Nonito Donaire, who faces Vazquez for the vacant 122-pound belt on February 4.
In late December, an Arce vs Parra rematch was announced, but the WBO refused to sanction it as a title fight, because they don't have Parra ranked at 118. Arce tried to make a fight with Giovanni Andrade, but that was also turned down by the WBO.
So Arce was stuck in a position where he couldn't find an acceptable title challenger on short notice, and chose to do the non-title fight. Rematching Parra is not without its dangers, since Parra took Arce to a disputed draw in 2010. But the last time we saw Parra in the ring, he was putting in a non-effort against Anselmo Moreno in a title fight in Panama.
The most likely scenario here is that Arce, should he win (and he'll be expected to win), will indeed face the Donaire vs Vazquez winner this summer. Arce, 32, has never lacked for sand, but he'd be a huge underdog against Donaire as the style matchup is simply atrocious for "Travieso," who would be at a disadvantage, and a significant one, in every single category.