Saturday, January 31, 2009

Jorge Arce Just Wants to Entertain You

Remember one thing: Jorge Arce, all 115-pounds of him, is all about entertainment value.

If he was an actor he’d be Tom Cruise. If he was a singer he’d be Elvis Presley.

But Jorge Arce is not an actor and he’s not a singer - he’s a fighter. And that’s the one thing that Jorge Arce always wants you to know and remember about him. That and the fact that he always wants to give you the biggest bang for your buck.

He’s a happy-go-lucky little man who speaks so quickly and with such a rapid fire delivery that after a while, it all just becomes one big steady stream of consciousness conversation. But that’s only because Jorge Arce, from the dusty streets of Los Mochis, Mexico, wants to let you know all about who he is and why he’s here.

He’s here, of course, because he wants to entertain you.

And come Saturday night, inside a ring at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, Jorge Arce, like all big-time entertainers is going to do his best to give the paying customers their money’s worth and put on a performance for the ages.

It is there that he will face the big punching and big talking southpaw Vic Darchinyan via Armenia via Australia, for the championship of the world at super flyweight. Both guys together don’t weigh as much as a good sized heavyweight, but if Reno, Nevada is the ’Biggest Little City in the World’ then this is the biggest little fight in the world.

And that’s precisely the reason why Jorge Arce wants to step out from behind the curtain and into the spotlight yet again. So he can make he crowd go “Wow!”

“You know, I see people paying for a ticket and they want to see something good and spectacular - fighters really fighting. No dancing, no nothing - they want to see fighters fight and that’s what I do - I fight,” said the quick talking Arce from his training camp in the high mountains of Temoaya, Mexico.

“People enjoy the way I fight. They love to see blood, I’ll give them blood. I don’t mind getting some blood in there. If I get blood on me I love that. It gets me more motivated and it gets me excited, it gets me to get more aggressive. The crowd enjoys it and I want them to enjoy it.”

The fans love Arce and he loves his fans. He is pictured here playing to the crowd while entering the ring on horseback.

And that’s the thing you notice when you talk to Jorge Arce. He’s all about the fans and he’s all about the crowds. How else do you explain that the last time he fought at the Honda Center that he came into the ring atop the back of a horse? Or the fact that he makes the walk to the ring with a smile as wide as a child’s and with a lollipop stuck in his mouth. And even though he wears a black cowboy hat - he’s definitely one of the good guys. His aggressive, all-action style in the ring seems designed to be all about knockouts and all about drama.

“I think every time they see a fight that I’m in they are always going to have a great fight,” said Arce of his entertainment philosophy toward the paying public. “That’s why I hope Darchinyan comes in great shape and that he comes to fight so we can give the fans a long fight with a lot of blood and a lot of hitting. If I go down I’m getting up and I hope he does, too.”

Promoter Bob Arum is expecting nothing less than a great fight and a night that will serve as just another reminder to the naysayer’s that the sport of boxing is not ready for the graveyard just yet.

“We expect a tremendous attendance for the fight,” barked the gravelly voiced Arum. “Everybody that follows boxing has been talking about this fight for years, and finally, a week from Saturday, it will happen.”

Arum, who is to boxing promoting what P.T. Barnum was to the world of circus acts, knows he has a hot ticket on his hands and he knows there is a silver lining in what promises to be a high flying cloud of a prizefight.

Bob Arum, Chairman of Top Rank Inc., says that hands down, fans can't afford to miss the fight that will go down Saturday night in Anaheim, California.

“I think we’ll have at least 10,000 people at the fight which is a big crowd at the Honda Center…it may go higher,” said Arum the optimist. “With these prices (and here Arum recited the denominations from ringside to the farthest reaches) I think we learned a lot that the economy is teaching us. And that is, keep your prices reasonable so people can see world class boxing, so they can be present, so they can touch it, so they can feel it. They don’t have to go to their lungs for tickets. It’s very, very affordable entertainment.”

The fight is being televised by the Showtime network and it comes a couple of years after Arce has spent rebuilding himself after his only loss in the past nine years. It was a defeat at the hands of Cristian Mijares, whom Vic Darchinyan just knocked out back in November.

“That fight came just as my career was taking off,” explains Arce of the April 2007 decision loss that happened at exactly the wrong time for him.

“When I lost to Mijares, it was like everyone decided I wasn’t as good a boxer as everyone thought I was - that I was just a good actor and a celebrity,” said Arce, a former reality show participant and current television celebrity in Mexico.

“They said I was just more of an actor and a singer and everything else, more than I was a boxer. But everyone has bad nights and I just had a bad night that day against Mijares. People, sometimes they don’t understand that. The media, the fans they don’t understand you can have a bad night. That’s all it was for me was just a bad night. And now I’m going to face the guy that knocked out Mijares and I’m going to knock him out. And then everyone‘s going to talk about me like where I was before I fought Mijares.”

Arce got a stranglehold on Cristian Mijares at the press conference, but he had a much more difficult time getting his hands on him when they were in the ring.

And to be fair, Jorge Arce is all fighter. His career record alone would tell you that with 51 wins, 4 losses, 1 draw and 39 knockouts that he must be a serious and going concern. He turned pro at age 17 and over the past 13 years as a professional he has won four titles in three weight divisions. The loss to Mijares is the only black mark on his record in the past nine years.

Some ask then, with that being the case, why isn’t Arce rated in the top-10 of the much discussed ‘Pound-for-Pound’ rankings? And does the fact that when he opens up The Ring magazine or looks on the many boxing websites that keep track of such things, does it bother him when he doesn’t see his name there?

“It doesn’t bother me, I just try to do the best that I can,” he explains. “But if I win this fight I know that I will have to be considered and people will talk about me as one of the best fighters in the world. I want to give the fans a great fight, something they will remember me by so they can think of me as one of the best fighters in the world.”

Arce is the type of fighter that is full of confidence and he says that with his long training camp at 9,000 feet altitude in the mountains about an hour from Mexico City, that the confidence he has always had in himself has only been strengthened.

Arce is the type of fighter that doesn't stop coming forward, even if it means he has to peer through a veil of his own blood.

“You know, I have never doubted myself. I’m very self assured of who I am and what I’m about. When I train for fights like this I feel invincible. This guy is not going to intimidate me, I know who I am and I’m very sure of myself. I knew I was good enough to get back in there and fight this guy. Back on November 1st when we both fought, I fought in Las Vegas and Mijares and Darchinyan were fighting in Los Angeles. All I was hoping was that I get the winner. I didn’t care who the winner of the fight was. I was just hoping that I would get the opportunity to fight the winner. I told my manager, Beltran, and I told everyone, ‘I hope whoever wins I get a chance to fight them.’ Now that the fight is here you don’t know how excited I am. You don’t know how hungry I am. I just cannot wait to fight this guy.”

Which is all good news - because Jorge Arce is here to entertain you.

January 2009

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