If Jorge Arce is successful as expected tomorrow night against Jesus Rojas, when the two meet in the final bout of the Pacquiao vs Bradley undercard, the plan is again to match him up with Filipino star and pound-for-pound favorite Nonito Donaire this fall, according to Bob Arum.
[ Preview: Pacquiao vs Bradley Undercard ]
Donaire is scheduled to unify 122-pound belts with Jeffrey Mathebula on July 7 in an HBO main event, and the network wants Donaire vs Arce after that.
"If Arce looks good, and Donaire beats Mathebula, then HBO wants to do that fight in the fall," said Arum. "Whenever they're ready. October, November."
Arce (60-6-2, 46 KO) isn't expected to have a lot of trouble with Rojas (18-1-1, 13 KO) on Saturday night, and the fight against Donaire (28-1, 18 KO) has been talked about since last autumn.
The two attended the October fight in Las Vegas that saw Toshiaki Nishioka defeat Rafael Marquez, and appeared on camera, seated together at ringside. Talk then was that they would face off in the near future, but though it's been rumored for every Donaire fight date since then, the fight still has not come off. After Donaire's win in February, Arce was said to be next, but it was again delayed.
It's a fight many would like to see because it promises action, and Donaire is most sensational when opponents give him lots of opportunities to hit them, which has not been the case in his last two outings. It would also do about as good a number for HBO as a Donaire fight is going to do -- between his popularity, which is strong for a guy at 122 pounds, and Arce's fanbase, you've got a fight that should bring in the viewers.
Both are expected to win their upcoming bouts, and Arce should look good against an inexperienced, limited opponent tomorrow night. But it's a wait and see game with this fight -- we've been told it's coming for months, and we're still being told that.