by Chuck Johnson
Nonito Donaire made sure he wouldn’t be another heavily-favored champion from the Philippines losing his title to a former champion from Mexico.
On a HBO telecast that began with the taped replay of Juan Manuel Marquez’s stunning sixth-round knockout of Manny Pacquiao last week in Las Vegas, Donaire exacted a measure of revenge for Filipino fans Saturday at the Toyota Center in Houston where he retained his WBO super bantamweight championship with a knockout victory against Mexican challenger Jorge Arce at 2:59 of the third round.
“I went out there and pretty much timed him,” Donaire, nicknamed the “Filipino Flash,” said of the left hook he used to finish the fight. He also scored a knockdown in the second round when Arce tumbled backwards and his gloves touched the canvas from the champion’s straight right hand .
“I knew he was going to open up,’’ Donaire said. “He was a tough guy and he got me to the body a few times. But I caught him with the straight right hand and the counter (left) hook did him in.”
The victory was Donaire’s fourth this year, all in the 122-pound weight division, after winning titles previously at flyweight, super flyweight and bantamweight. His extraordinarily busy activity and success has him a top candidate for 2012’s Fighter of the Year.