By Jake Donovan
Jhonny Gonzalez and Jorge Arce both did their part to keep alive hope for a potential September clash, each posting wins within the past month. Now comes the hard part – getting all external parties on the same page in hopes of finalizing details to properly promoter what figures to be an epic clash between two of Mexico’s most popular little big men.
Gonzalez made the first defense of his second featherweight title reign with a technical decision win over Clive Atwell in May. Arce – a former 108 lb. lineal champ and beltholder in three more weight classes – is fresh off of an 8th round stoppage of Jorge Lacierva last Saturday.
Neither fighter looked particularly spectacular in victory, each doing enough to win as they look towards the future. Gonzalez (56-8, 47KO), 32, was fighting for the first time since winning the belt last August, when he stopped Abner Mares in the 1st round of what was hailed as 2013’s Upset of the Year.
Arce (64-7-2, 49KO) fought for the third time since his announced ‘retirement’ in Dec. ’12, having returned to the ring last November. The 34-year old has scored stoppage wins in each of his past three bouts, each merely serving the purpose of staying busy while awaiting one more big fight.
“I don’t think Arce is properly motivated with these types of fights, because he knows they don’t go anywhere,” theorizes Oswaldo Küchle, Gonzalez’ promoter. “Jorge needs that more big title shot for greater motivation.”
Negotiations are ongoing for the planned featherweight title fight. A win by Arce would make him the first in Mexico’s rich boxing history to claim titles in five separate weight classes. Therein lies the appeal for such a fight, not to mention a huge payday for Gonzalez, a two-division, three-time titlist.
Among other sticking points is where the fight would take place and on what network. Mexico City, Gonzalez’ hometown, remains in the hunt, but the defending champ and his team have talked of traveling to Arce’s home state of Sinaloa and staging the event in a 20,000-seat arena.
“This is a huge fight,” Küchle points out. “We need a venue big enough to fit everyone.”
More problematic than physical location, however, is where on the TV dial the fight lands. Gonzalez fights for Televisa, given Küchle’s longtime relationship with the network. Arce, through Zanfer Promotions, regularly appears on TV Azteca.
Both networks would like their hand in the fight. The question is whether or not they can co-exist.
“The main topic (in negotiations) is getting Televisa and TV Azteca to both air the fight in Mexico,” Küchle explains of the dilemma. “That’s the most difficult part. But talks are going well.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox