If you listen to the folks at Top Rank and on Nonito Donaire's team, Jorge Arce priced himself out of challenging for Donaire's junior featherweight belts on HBO on Oct. 13.
Although Arce most likely could have enjoyed a career payday in mid-six figures for what looked to be a fun fight -- but ultimately a loss for the Mexican brawler -- he went shooting for the moon and was, from what I was told, asking for an absurd $850,000. That's more than Donaire's contract minimum for title defenses and probably more than double Arce's best purse.
When a fighter asks for an amount of money that isn't close to reality, what it really means is he doesn't want the fight. So Donaire moved on and instead will face respected former titlist Toshiaki Nishioka of Japan at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
I've been a fan of Arce's for many years. He always fights his heart out and has been in tons of great scraps. But I believe strongly that Donaire-Nishioka is a far more competitive fight than Donaire-Arce would have been.
And now look at what's going on: Arce settles on a run-of-the-mill fight in his hometown of Los Mochis, Mexico, on Sept. 22 against the long-faded Mauricio Martinez (36-12-1, 24 KOs) of Panama, who held a bantamweight title from 2000 to 2002. Arce turned down a big payday and a title shot for this?
Arce (60-6-2, 46 KOs), who has held titles in four weight classes (plus an interim belt in another) from 108 to 122 pounds, probably will make a decent payday to fight Martinez but nothing remotely close to what he would have made against Donaire. And the Martinez fight will barely register with those outside of Mexico.
Also on the card, junior bantamweight titlist Juan Carlos Sanchez (14-1-1, 7 KOs) -- who is also from Los Mochis -- will make his second title defense against an opponent to be determined.