Nonito Donaire KO’s Jorge Arce; Larry Merchant Retires

In the first frame, Arce was a bit restrained and held back a bit. As Larry Merchant said, Donaire was throwing punches with “mean intentions” as Arce backed off. The first knockdown occurred in the second frame, as a short punch dropped “El Travieso”. The Mexican pugilist seemed to imply that he didn’t feel it was a legitimate knockdown. The audience chants “Si Se Puede!” to try to rally “El Travieso” but the “Filipino Flash” is too much for him. In the third round, Arce throws caution to the wind and starts being more aggressive. He attempts to bully Donaire, push him back and tries to land shots on Donaire. He lands some, but Donaire is too much as he drops Arce with a scary blitz of offense. Arce recovers, but Donaire connects his fists violently onto Arce’s chin and he hits a left hook for the final nail in the coffin. Donaire wins via KO at the 2:59 mark of the third round, cementing his case for “Fighter of the Year”.

“He is a tough guy, he actually caught me in the body,” Donaire told Larry Merchant after the fight. “Arce is a great friend of mine.”

“You are the best, me voy con el mejor (I leave [fighting] the best),” Arce told Donaire.

Arce then spoke with Larry Merchant to explain his situation. He said he promised his wife and family that he would retired if he lost. Arce leaves the sport of boxing having by falling to one of the top pound for pound fighters int he world.

Both fighters wished Larry Merchant grand wishes on his retirement. Following the main event, a video tribute aired to honor Larry Merchant’s legendary career with HBO Boxing. It was a touching, emotional and sometimes hilarious look back at Merchant’s unique time covering the sweet science. Merchant said his farewell and Lampley expressed how much Merchant has played a role in his career. Lampley also said Merchant’s role in his life and career will not change with this retirement.

“Don’t change your phone number,” joked Jim Lampley. “You can run, but you can’t hide.”

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