HOUSTON – If Nonito Donaire Jr. and Jorge Arce came here to fight they didn’t show their intention during Wednesday’s press conference at the Toyota Center.
Donaire will defend his WBO super-bantamweight crown against Arce on Saturday. He vowed to go for the knockout and feels that Arce will try to do the same.
“One thing we both agree on is that this fight is not going the distance,” said the 30-year-old Filipino champion heading to his fourth fight of the year.
Donaire is unbeaten in 29 fights the last 11 years, and 11 of his last 14 victories were by knockout. Arce is 11-0 in the last three years.
But during the press conference, both boxers showed too much respect and admiration to one another. Together they laughed and hugged a few times.
They looked like high school buddies who had never seen each other for decades.
At times it looked a little too close for comfort and one would wonder if by fight night they will come swinging at each other.
Arce, the 33-year-old warrior from Mexico and a five-division world champion, grabbed the WBO belt from Donaire and hoisted it like it was his.
Donaire faked throwing a side-kick at Arce, and they both laughed.
Donaire entered the building with his wife Rachel, looking nice and hip with his gray and white attire. He wore a winter jacket and a scarf around his neck.
“I didn’t know Houston was this cold,” he opened up, looking by the huge window where outside at around noontime it was about around 10 degrees.
“But I guarantee you on Dec. 15 it will be hot in here,” said the hot candidate for the 2012 Fighter of the Year award.
“One thing I have for Arce is respect. He’s been there for the longest time and he’s a legend. But I’m prepared for everything. I’m ready for that and Arce is ready for that,” he added.
Arce promised a good fight against one of the top pound-for-pound boxers today. Then he called Donaire “a great friend of mine.”
“I admire him and I respect him and because of that I prepared hard like I’ve never prepared before. I want to tell you that what happened last Saturday between Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao will happen again on Saturday,” Arce said.
Arce is the type of boxer who never stops until he is knocked out.
But yesterday he didn’t come to fight. He came to hug.