Cancha de Usos Multiples Praderas de Villa, Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico– By the seventh round, it became clear that WBC featherweight champ, Jhonny Gonzalez (56-8, 47 KOs) was carrying Jorge Arce (64-7-2, 49 KOs). By the ninth, the veteran multi-time world titlist, Arce, had stopped shouting at his rival, had stopped daring him to come forward. By the tenth, the fans in Los Mochis– Arce’s hometown fans– had realized what was happening and had fallen silent. And, in the eleventh, referee Johnny Callas did the right thing and stopped the one-sided affair.
“I didn’t have the heart to knock him out in front of his fans and family,” Gonzalez would say after the bout.
With knockdowns in the third, fifth, and ninth rounds, it had become clear that when Gonzalez wanted to cause damage, he could. Instead, though, he boxed and picked his shots, doing just enough to win every round en route to the TKO victory.
In a post-fight embrace, Gonzalez could be heard telling his friend and rival: “Go to your family now, they’re waiting for you…That’s what’s important.”
After the bout, the well-traveled 35-year-old Arce would retire in front of the Televisa cameras and although he’s retired before, this one seemed to be a “for real” moment.
“I’m not crying because I’m sad, I’m crying because I’m proud…I did what I did in order to support my family…Now, I can go home to them with dignity…It was an honor to lose to a gentleman, a champion like him.”
This was the second defense for Gonzalez of the belt he took from Abner Mares in 2013 via first-round knockout.
In the co-feature, 38-year-old former two-division world champ Celestino Caballero (37-6, 24 KOs) was beaten decisively by bull-rushing 22-year-old Mexican super featherweight prospect Adrian Estrella (19-0, 17 KOs). Caballero escaped some tough spots to hear the final bell, including a two-knockdown fifth round and one knockdown each in rounds ten and eleven, but was soundly defeated. Judges scorecards read 117-107, 115-109, and 117-107 after twelve rounds.