BoxingScene.com reports that an October fight between Nonito Donaire and Jorge Arce is "ninety percent" finalized, and would be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Donaire scored another win this past Saturday night, beating Jeffrey Mathebula in Carson, California, on HBO.
After the fight, Donaire said he wanted to unify at least one more title, adding to the WBO and IBF belts he now holds at 122 pounds, but a fight with Arce would not accomplish that goal. It was thought that Donaire would face WBC titleholder Toshiaki Nishioka (who holds the "emeritus" belt, while Abner Mares has the regular title), but Top Rank has been trying to make Donaire vs Arce for about a year now, so this comes as no surprise.
Donaire (29-1, 18 KO) will frankly have time to get to the Nishioka, Mares, and Rigondeaux fights, if he has any desire to take them. They will be there, or those guys will lose and they won't be there, or whatever. The reasons they'd want the Arce fight are obvious, I think:
- Arce (60-6-2, 46 KO) is promoted by Top Rank in the States, and easy to secure for the fight.
- Arce and Donaire both bring fanbases to the table. This cannot be said of Nishioka or Rigondeaux in the States, and probably not Mares either. At the very, very least, it is absolutely true that Mares is not as big a star as Arce yet.
- Arce will make for a good fight.
- Arce seems tailor-made for Donaire stylistically.
Add in one more thing that I think is important: Arce, 32, isn't going to last forever, and getting him in with Donaire gives Top Rank the chance to get at least one more good money fight out of him. He could fight on another ten years, but at some point he's not going to be Jorge Arce: Mexican Warrior anymore, he'll just be Jorge Arce the veteran battler. Given his style, age, the fact that he's moved up so far in weight (from 108 to 122), it's probably as good a time as any to cash in on him -- better early than late, since early still means you make the money, and late means the chance is gone.
I don't love the fight because I think it's easy pickings for Donaire, but I'm also certainly not going to turn it down. I've got no question that it will be action-packed if and/or when it happens, so I guess I'm fine with the fight, and really my opinion on it hasn't changed since it was brought up last summer.