Mexican boxing icon Jorge "El Travieso" Arce is set to square off against defending WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire on December 15 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
The former WBO, WBC and WBA light flyweight champion predicts the much-anticipated contest will be the "Fight of the Year" as reported by Philippine news portal ABS-CBN.
Donaire and Arce maintain a good friendship outside of the ring but are fierce competitors inside of it. Arce was quoted by the report as saying "Nonito and I are good friends, but unfortunately, this is a business. Expect the 'Fight of the Year' on December 15, and I'm going to win this fight."
His opponent also predicted the contest to be action-packed.
A report by another Philippine news portal, Interaksyon, reveals Donaire's prediction: "This fight has been on and off for the last four years...it's gonna be bloody, it's gonna be tough, it's gonna be rough. This is going to be an exciting fight."
Interaksyon, an online sports news portal, based the defending champion's statements on an interview with him on November 9.
Arce, who has a record of 61-6-2 with one no contest and 46 knockouts, remains undaunted despite some experts saying he lacks the size, power and talent to overpower Donaire. "A lot of fighters are intimidated by him. They're scared of getting hit by him. I'm not afraid, and I love getting hit. I'm going to be right in his face," the ABS-CBN report goes on to say.
He is primarily known for his toughness and durability. He also carries his aggressive style, good punching power and veteran ring savvy into the December 15 bout.
Arce hopes to continue his momentum as he has gone undefeated in his last 11 fights which also include a no-contest against Puerto Rican Jesus Rojas and a draw versus Venezuelan Lorenzo Parra in 2010.
On his part, Donaire has strung together an even more impressive 29 straight victories. His last and only defeat was by unanimous decision in his second pro bout against Rosendo Sanchez way back in 2001. His latest conquest was a ninth-round TKO of Japan's Toshiaki Nishioka on October 13.
Donaire's current record stands at 30-1 with 19 knockouts.
After several stand-offs during negotiations in the last few years, the eagerly awaited match-up is finally going to materialize to the delight of millions of fight fans.
Let's get ready to rumble!