Jorge Arce hasn’t looked so hot the last year or so, but he mysteriously got another title shot and won it, beating Angky Angkota in a 7th round technical decision Saturday on Fox Sports Net to take the WBO junior bantamweight trinket.
In the 1st round, Angkota was exploiting Arce’s weakness for people who don’t just stand around in front of him and get punched, and he claimed the opening frame with movement, angles and counter shots. Then, in the 2nd, Angkota took it upon himself to back into a corner and let Arce work himself over. If I came up with one strategy I wouldn’t employ against Arce, even a 30-year-old version with a lot of miles on his odometer, I’d think it would be backing into a corner and allowing him to work me over. Angkota had his moments countering off the ropes, but Arce can soak up abnormal, almost scary amounts of punishment, and Angkota is no puncher anyhow. He wasn’t the schlub I feared he might be — I’d overlooked a win on his record against Donnie Nietes — but Arce hammered away at him, particularly to the body, far more than Arce got hammered back.
A head butt in the 7th opened a severe gash over Angkota’s right eye, and the doctor appropriately recommended a halt to it. Arce won by scores of 58-56 and 60-54 twice.
Arce showed he’s still an offensive force against someone who is willing to trade in close-up combat, and his endurance was impressive — better than recent fights, where he’s looked a little dead-legged in spots. I’m guessing his trinket gives him a string of OK mandatory and optional defenses, which could lead to one more big fight for Arce. I don’t favor him to win that big fight, but talk of retirement, anyhow, is now over.