- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Featherweight titlist Jhonny Gonzalez and former three-division titleholder Jorge Arce, both of Mexico, are close to finalizing a deal for a Sept. 27 bout in Arce’s hometown of Los Mochis, Mexico, according to Arce promoter Zanfer Promotions.
Arce (64-7-2, 49 KOs), 35, retired after being knocked out in the third round challenging then-junior featherweight titlist Nonito Donaire in December 2012, but it lasted only 11 months. He returned in November and has won three fights in a row by knockout on the comeback trail with his goal to get a shot at a featherweight title after having won belts at junior flyweight, junior bantamweight and junior featherweight (and an interim belt at flyweight).
Gonzalez (56-8, 47 KOs), 32, a former bantamweight titlist in his second featherweight title reign, regained his belt in upset fashion by knocking out Abner Mares in the first round last August. He has made one defense, a shaky performance against unheralded Clive Atwell in May.
The fight would be a big deal in Mexico as Gonzalez and Arce are well-known fighters there with a long track record of exciting fights.
A major part of getting the deal done is how to work out the Mexican television issues since Gonzalez fights on Televisa and Arce on TV Azteca, both major over-the-air networks. If the deal is completed, both networks could wind up televising the fight in Mexico in what would be a historic agreement.