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Donaire vs Arce: Fighters express respect at final press conference

Nonito Donaire and Jorge Arce expressed respect and admiration for one another as they head into Saturday night's HBO main event from the Toyota Center in Houston.

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Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Anyone hoping for fireworks or trash talk at the final press conference for Saturday night's Nonito Donaire vs Jorge Arce fight at the Toyota Center in Houston probably came away disappointed in what was a short, polite event, with the two main event fighters noting the respect they have for one another.

"I'm a little confused with my sentiments," said Arce through an interpreter. "I'm very excited because it's going to be the best fight of my life. I don't want to say anything about who's going to win. I don't want to make predictions or promises. I just promise a great fight.

"I'm fighting the best pound-for-pound fighter at my weight, Nonito Donaire. He's a great friend of mine. I admire him, I respect him. Because of that respect and admiration I have for him, I've prepared like never before. I want to tell you that what happened with Pacquiao and Marquez will happen again. The new surprise. I'll always have Houston in my heart. This is going to be a memorable victory."

Donaire stayed on pretty much the same note.

"I respect the man. When I respect somebody, I want to fight them," the Filipino champion responded. "When I want to fight them, that means I have to train my butt off for every situation. It won't go the distance. December 15, it's gonna get hot in here."

Co-feature fighters Guillermo Rigondeaux and Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym were similarly quiet, promising a good fight and victory for their side. They'll meet for Rigondeaux's WBA super bantamweight title, while Donaire will be defending the WBO title, as well as the WBC "diamond" belt.

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