Advertisement
Advertisement

Donaire Looked Lethal in Houston: Post Report Card

By Cliff Rold

There’s no need to play make believe.  What Nonito Donaire did on Saturday was not impressive.  He knocked out a fighter he was supposed to in about the easy fashion anyone could have expected.  Jorge Arce has been a fun fighter for years.  He hasn’t been a particularly good one in a very long time. 

On his best day, Arce was limited and well managed. 

It might be the holiday season, but there is no need to hand out cookies and milk to Nonito Claus for doing exactly what he was supposed to do.  As a capper to a 4-0 year though, it might be time to hand out some awards.   

Let’s go the report card.

Grades
Pre-Fight: Speed – Donaire A; Arce B/Post: A; B-
Pre-Fight: Power – Donaire A; Arce A/Post: A; B+
Pre-Fight: Defense – Donaire B+; Arce C-/Post: B+; D
Pre-Fight: Intangibles – Donaire A; Arce A/Post: A; B

The chatter was clear before the opening bell.  The knockout in round three confirmed it: Donaire is the leader for Fighter of the Year.  The BoxingScene predictions for the fight also asked the staff to weigh in on the leader in the field.  Donaire had the edge.

There is good reason for that.

At 4-0, all of his wins against legitimate top ten types in his division, Donaire had the sort of year we just don’t see often anymore.  It was a year where one guy went about his business in a single weight class and stayed active throughout. 

In 1998, the BWAA and Ring Magazine split on their Fighter of the Year picks.  The former favored Shane Mosley, who defended the IBF Lightweight belt with five stops in five starts.  The latter favored Floyd Mayweather, 7-0 on the year as he went from prospect to champion to defending champion with a bullet.

This year, Donaire beat a former titlist in Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. for a vacant belt, unified with Jeffrey Mathebula, and upended the longtime leader of the class in Toshiaki Nishioka.  All were solid wins, the latter two of quality in terms of where those foes rated in the class (and all one can do is fight the top of their class).

Arce was the payoff fight on the back end, a career high purse and a completion of a trifecta of knockout wins in his career against arguably the three most notable sub-Bantamweight fighters of the last decade on this side of the Pacific (Vic Darchinyan and Fernando Montiel).

While the end on Saturday was no surprise, it managed not to be too exciting even for the short time it lasted.  Arce came out with a deer in headlights look form the start.  Typically a pressing type fighter, he was playing keep away for as long as he could.  The first round knockdown was a little bit about balance.  The finish in the third, coming as Arce willed himself to try a little, was concussive.

Arce has given at the office over the years and not rushing headlong into fate right away can’t be held against him.  He stepped into a fight he had to know he couldn’t win and took the shots like a man.  For all the action he’s provided, he gets a doff of the cap. 

So is it enough for Donaire to take the honors?  Those who vote for such matters have a tough question to ask.  Before last week, it would have been pretty easy.  After Juan Manuel Marquez stopped Manny Pacquiao, it’s not easy anymore. 

As good as 4-0 is, 2-0 with a knockout of one of the great fighters ever, to top off one of the great rivalries ever, counts for a lot.  Outside the small mass of hardcore fistic faithful, the Fighter of the Year will seem pretty clear.  Magnitude matters.  Marquez moved the needle.

Donaire is still building an audience.  In his favor, his 4-0 brought him the vacant lineal designation as World Champion with the Nishioka win.  Marquez ends the year with only a middling belt at 140 lbs. 

Let the debate begin.

And let the future come soon.  After the fight on Saturday, Nonito Donaire made clear he wants a showdown with Abner Mares and both men are calling for their promoters to work it out.  He stated that, short of Mares, he’s ready to face Guillermo Rigondeaux. 

For the Cult of Rigo fan base out there, who lost their moment this weekend when quality foe Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym was denied a license based on the results of his pre-fight medical tests, a Happy New Year may be soon at hand.   
 
Report Card Picks 2012: 62-23

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene and a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Ringlife on 12-19-2012

We all knew Donaire was going to retire Arce.

Post a Comment/View More User Comments (1)
Top Headlines Golovkin's Coach: Only GGG Fight Brings Mayweather 100 Million! Bellew: I'll Fight That Bitch David Haye, He's Degrading Boxing! Photos: Ricky Burns Makes History, Blasts Di Rocco For WBA Belt Bellew vs. Makabu: Sean Dodd Looks To Enter The World Scene Viktor Postol Motivated By Underdog Role Against Crawford Arum: If Mayweather Wants Pacquiao, Let Him Come To Manila Haumono Saw Flaws, Believes He Will Chin Check Joseph Parker Glowacki Hopes To Get Usyk To Poland, Then Wants Lebedev Avanesyan Ends Shane Mosley, Secures Thurman-Porter Shot Vazquez Outpoints Bone, Eyes Future Clash With Adrien Broner Gabe Rosado Not Looking Past Gutierrez To Chavez Jr. Showdown Shane Mosley Jr. Edges Roberto Young With Majority Nod Bermane Stiverne Eager To Step in, Face Deontay Wilder Jonas Sultan Retains His RP Championship With KO in Five Rounds Photos: Verdejo, Diaz Open Workouts Before HUGE Bronx Crowd Roach: Floyd Mayweather Asked Me To Train Conor McGregor Krzysztof Wlodarczyk Beats Down Kai Kurzawa For TKO Win Ricky Burns Becomes Three Division Champion, Stops Di Rocco in 8 Nurse Pounds on Limond For TKO Win, Retains British Title WADA To Meet With AIBA, Shocking Allegations Over Drug Testing Conor Benn Wins In Glasgow, Returns on Joshua-Breazeale McCarthy Beats Jon-Lewis Dickinson, Must Face Askin Next Povetkin Questions Whether Wilder Actually Intended To Fight Him Burns-Di Rocco: Ogogo Wins On Return Mosley: They Said I Was Done, I'm Going To Annihilate Avanesyan! Ricky Burns: I Feel I Definitely Have Another Few Years in Me Donnie Nietes Drops, Punishes and Stops Raul Garcia Photos: Lucian Bute Holds Presser, Maintains His Innocence Cecilia Braekhus is Hoping To Stage Title Defense in Norway DiBella: Haye's Last Bout Hard To Watch, Not in Running For Wilder Avanesyan Tabs Thurman To Beat Porter, Ready For Mosley Weights From Liverpool: Bellew 199.1; Makabu 196.8 Golovkin's Coach: Canelo Would Drill Pacquiao Worse Than Khan! Lara's Trainer: Golovkin Should Want To Test Himself Against Lara Frank Warren: Kell Brook Wanted No Part of Liam Smith Hearn: Ricky Burns' Last Chance To Win Gold, a 50-50 Fight Tony Bellew Smiles: I Was Always a Rebellious Little F***er! Hearn Wants Parker To Get UK Exposure To Build Joshua Bout Video: Shane Mosley Shows Off His Power and Speed at Workout Marquez Injured, Stops Training - But Still Has Eye on Miguel Cotto
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement