HOUSTON, Texas—It’s biting cold out here, but Nonito Donaire Jr. promised it will be hot on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) when he stakes his World Boxing Organization super bantamweight crown against Mexican Jorge Arce at Toyota Center here.
The 30-year-old Donaire predicted that only one man will be left standing after the “all-out-war” as both he and Arce are aggressive warriors who pack power in their punches.
Donaire showed up in three layers of clothing with a scarf to boot Wednesday for the final press conference of their bout. It was mid-afternoon yet the temperature hovered between 10 and 12 degrees Celsius.
While he expects to win by stoppage, Donaire said he respects Arce, one of Mexico’s most revered fighters owing to his no-retreat, no-surrender style.
“Arce is a tremendous fighter,” said Donaire, who was accompanied by his wife Rachel. “He’s been there for the longest time. He’s a legend.”
Donaire said Arce’s first-rate credentials awed him into agreeing to fight the Mexican.
“When I do respect somebody, I want to fight them,” said the Filipino four-division world champion.
“One thing that Arce and I both agree on is that this fight will not go the distance, and that’s why I say Dec. 15 is gonna be hot in here. But again there’s respect between us.”
That was evident Wednesday as no trash-talking occurred during the press conference that was also graced by Cuban two-time Olympic champion Guillermo Rigondeaux and Poonsawat Kratindaeng of Thailand. The two will dispute the WBA super bantam title in the co-feature of the Top Rank fight card.
Riding the crest of an 11-year, 29-bout winning streak, Donaire has fought thrice this year, besting former world champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., IBF titlist Jeffrey Mathebula and WBC super bantamweight titlist Toshiaki Nishioka in succession.
Another victory over Arce would make Donaire a cinch for Fighter of the Year honors.