By Ronnie Nathanielsz
WBO and Ring Magazine super bantamweight champion Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire and Mexican warrior Jorge " Travieso" Arce both want a knockout in their battle at the sprawling Toyota Center here in Houston, Texas on Saturday.
On the eve of the official weigh-in both Donaire and Arce told the Manila Standard and ABS - CBN'S Dyan Castillejo that they didn't eant to leave the decision in the hands of the judges.
Donaire recalled that when he won the title from Wilfredo Vazquez Jr at the Alamadome in San Antonio last February 4 one of the judges, Dr. Ruben Garcia scored the fight for thePuerto Rican 115-113 despite Donaire dominating the action and dropping Vazquez in the ninth round with a vicious left hook even after hurting his left hand early in the fight.
Donaire said "that should have been a unanimoua decision and since there are a number of Mexicans here I like to knock him out for that reason because I dont know whether I will get the decision even if I win unanimously."
He said the presence of a huge contingent of Mexicans just like last week's fight in Las Vegas when Juan Manuel Marquez scored a shocking 6th round knockout over Manny Pacquiao, "doesn't bother me because when negotiations for this fight began it was supposed to be in Mexico. I'm used to it. I don't have any worries because I know what I have to do in the ring and how to do it."
Donaire told us he "visualizes how he will connect against Arce because I know his movements, what he'll throw - left or right - and i know if he throws a right I know what to target and if its the left I know what I have to do. When I see that ,my reaction is natural."
Donaire said he was still a few pounds over the 122 pound limit because "I am still eating but its okay."
His goal is "hopefully to be the undisputed chsmpion next year" with his eyes firmly set on the WBC belt held by Abner Mares or the WBA title of Guillermo Rigondeaux whose title defense against Thailand's Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym was called off after the Thai, a former eorld champion failed two medical tests and was not given a license to fight by the Texas Commission.
Donaire said " God willing I will get an opportunity next year and I will do that. I want the fans to have a good show but mainly for their support I want to give them all I can achieve so they can enjoy and look forward to the next fight."
Arce himself said "I dont want to tske any chances with the judges. I think Nonito is a very strong, aggressive fighter and he's looking for the knockout just like I am."
Informed that Donaire had never been knocked out Arce replied "there's a first time for everything. My son's first birthday is on Saturday and I promised him a victory and I am going to give it to him. I will take him to Disneyland after this."
Arce said "my left is very strong, my right is very strong. I can knock him out with either hand."
Arce said he is in the " best shape I have ever been and even with Vazquez I was not as ready as I am now. There will be no excuses. If he beats me he is going to beat the best 'Travieso' and if I beat him I want him to know I beat the best. Donaire."