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End of the road for a legend in Arce

10/6/2014

LOS MOCHIS, Mexico -- Jorge Arce kept it honest.

Despite being a fighter who lacked great technique, he routinely compensated by being a brave, fan-friendly and courageous boxer in each of his pro fights.

Arce stood by his style on Saturday night while challenging for countryman Jhonny Gonzalez's featherweight title. By using his all-or-nothing approach, Arce tried to squeeze one more win onto his impressive résumé.

But Gonzalez punished him severely, opening a cut over Arce's left eye and forcing him to slow down and focus more on surviving as Gonzalez left the Centro de Usos Multiples with an 11th-round TKO win.

"I think I achieved that, since Jhonny is one of the best fighters I've faced in my career," Arce said.

After losing the fight, Arce (68-4-2, 49 KOs) went home, where his wife Karime had prepared a party with his friends, to celebrate his career and his last day as an active boxer.

Arce, 35, won his first world title at age 19. In the end, he was involved in 28 world title fights, in six different weight classes, from 108 to 130 pounds. He won world titles at junior flyweight, flyweight, junior bantamweight, bantamweight and junior featherweight.

And boy, could Arce be one courageous fighter. Even when he was a couple of inches away from being knocked out, he was still dangerous enough to stage a comeback to claim a miraculous victory.

Every fight involving Arce was worth the price of admission. While he took some tough losses against names like Michael Carbajal, Nonito Donaire and Vic Darchinyan, he also scored some memorable victories. Hussein Hussein, Wilfredo Vazquez and Yo-Sam Choi are three of his most cherished wins.

Against Gonzalez, in front of his home crowd in Los Mochis, Arce was well aware that the odds were against him. But he tried, one more time. Despite his severely damaged eyelid, Arce tried to keep on fighting, but it all ended in the 11th round.

It was the end of the road for "El Travieso,"a true boxing warrior, who loved to defy the odds. And even Gonzalez took his hat off, to honor Arce, and admitted to taking his foot off the gas pedal late in the fight out of respect.

"I defeated a great boxer, a very courageous one," Gonzalez said. "He earned my respect. I was convinced that I would win. I had no mercy, I wanted to knock him out. But, as the fight progressed into the later rounds, and his eyelid was so damaged, the punishment was unnecessary. He had to go back home, to his family, so it was time to slow down."