Jorge Arce knows he's the big underdog when he faces Nonito Donaire on December 15, live on HBO from Houston, Texas, but says he doesn't mind that role, and that he believes he can knock out Donaire.
"I am sure that I will knock him out. ... I fight better, with more confidence and with more desire when I'm the underdog. And on this occasion it will be no different."
Arce (61-6-2, 46 KO) has been attached to a possible Donaire fight for about two years, as Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has been very high on making the fight. But it always fell apart during negotiations, with one side or the other not feeling the terms or timing were right.
Now, though, the time is apparently right, and the two will finally meet. It's been talked to death for a long time, and most expect Donaire's youth, size advantage, and speed to be too much for Arce to overcome.
But one thing is true: The last time Arce was counted out, he upset then-unbeaten Wilfredo Vazquez Jr on the Pacquiao-Mosley undercard in May 2011, in a stirring performance where he sort of rose from the presumed dead to batter the young fighter en route to a 12th round stoppage in a show-stealing performance. Donaire is definitely better than Vazquez Jr -- which he proved by beating WV2 in February of this year, himself -- but Arce can be tough to deter when he's really on his game, and Nonito hasn't faced a hard-charger like this in a while, either. It's true that Donaire has shone brightest against aggressive foes, but maybe there's something to be said for Nonito possibly becoming a bit complacent and overconfident.
It would be a hell of an upset if it happened, but I doubt Arce leaves anything in the ring, either.