Fight fans and media members gathered Tuesday at Lou Savarese’s Main Street Boxing Gym in Houston for the Nonito Donaire-Jorge Arce public/media workout. The two will face off Saturday, December 15th at the Toyota Center for Donaire’s TBRB junior featherweight lineal championship.
The bout will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing at 9:30 pm ET.
Arce was the first to arrive. He charmed fight fans and autograph seekers with funny stories for a bit before performing a rather humorous impersonation of Donaire’s last opponent, Toshiaki Nishioka. Arce mimicked the shell defense Nishioka employed while saying “Nishi! Nishi!” over and over again. In short, Arce was as loose and jovial as one might expect from a man who frequently comes to the ring with a cowboy hat on his head as he enjoys a pre-scrap lollipop.
The former world titlist said he was extremely excited for his opportunity against Donaire, who he considers one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world today.
“It’s motivation for the fight,” he said. “Everyone thinks I’m going to get beat, but I’m going to surprise them. I’m going to show them!”
Speaking later to Top Rank’s Crystina Poncher, Arce relayed a recent promise he made to his son about the upcoming bout.
“I told my son, who is going to be one year old on Saturday, that after I beat this guy, I’m taking him to Disney!”
The crowd thickened for Nonito Donaire, who arrived just on schedule after Arce had left the building. Donaire told a few jokes to the throng of onlookers before taking a few questions from the increasingly burgeoning media presence.
“The fight’s not going to go the distance,” he said. “It sucks to go the distance!”
Donaire said both he and Arce would be going for the knockout despite their friendly disposition to each other during the fight’s promotional buildup.
“I never talk crap...I set the example. I do my talking inside the ring. I believe that being a professional boxer means you have to carry yourself well. I’m a professional. This is my job. This is what I do.”
This will be Donaire’s first fight in Texas since his majority decision win over Wilfredo Vazquez, Jr. last February in San Antonio. In that one, boxing judge Ruben M. Garcia egregiously tallied his official scorecard in Vazquez’s favor despite being perhaps the only person in the world who saw anything other than a dominant Donaire win.
“Everybody is entitled to their opinion and how they see fights. To me, I don’t like to go the distance. There is no satisfying victory unless it’s a knockout.”
Still, one has to wonder if it is on his mind, if even just a little bit.
“Honestly, I was going to fight him in Mexico, so I’d fight him anywhere. My main concern is to knock him out. I’m ready for anything. I just have to cross my fingers when I get to the finish line.”