As one star under 130-pounds goes off into the sunset in a way fitting for boxers, the current top star under 130-pounds continues to give evidence for why he should be among the pound-for-pound best.
Donaire scored the knockout with one second left in the third round, bringing a deja vu feeling to all that saw this fight and Juan Manuel Marquez's knockout of Manny Pacquiao a week ago.
Donaire first scored a knockdown in the third round during the final minute. He ducked a left hook from Arce and answered with a straight right of his own that wobbled Arce. Donaire continued to move in and thanks to two really big lefts, he had Arce on the canvas. Arce got up, so Donaire simply moved in, landed a huge left uppercut, and knocked Arce out just before the end of the round. Like last week, no count was necessary.
Donaire also knocked Arce down in the first round when Arce's gloves touched the mat after a straight right from Donaire stunned him.
Arce came into this fight with a strategy that baffled many who watched only because it was so different from Arce's traditional approach to a bout.
Arce came out very cautious and spent the entire first round playing defense while allowing Donaire to lead the action. He started coming more alive and began landing a few punches, but it was futile because Donaire has shown that he has no problem taking an opponent through twelve rounds of boxing if necessary. It was a zero-win game for Arce, but it did show how serious he was taking this fight as he was more cautious and less the wild man that he has the ability to be in the ring. The irony is that he probably would have landed more effective shots on Donaire had he been more the wild man. Either way, the night was going to end the same way for him: with a knockout loss.
Donaire also added an intriguing element to this fight: his left hand. This was Donaire's second fight in just over two months, and the way a knuckle on his left hand looked at the end of his last fight made a lot of people in his own camp wonder if they had made a mistake in taking the bout. Donaire has had an issue this year with a bad knuckle below his index finger. During that last bout, a ninth round TKO win over Toshiaki Nishioka on October 13, the knuckle became cut. Once the gloves were off, the knuckle was obviously bloody. Once the tape came off, the damage was clearly visible and it was damage that appeared as though it needed more than two months to heal, especially if that fighter went right back to training for a bout like Donaire did. But this was also the biggest payday of Donaire's career, so monetary gain won out over self-preservation. And in this case it worked out perfectly.
Arce announced his retirement without hesitation after the fight. He ends his career with a record of 61-7-2 with one no-contest and 46 knockouts.
This wouldn't be a bad time for Donaire to roll the dice and move up in weight. He's been gathering belts at bantamweight while been putting on big performances and scoring big knockouts along the way. He has built his star around this weight, but at the same time, he is 30. Now would be as good a time as any for Donaire to test the full possibilities of his skill. He has plenty of it, and knockout power to along with that skill. And those are the two things that can best provide a boxer with a chance to move up and win at many weights.
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