The viewers who tuned in to the Manny Pacquiao vs. "Sugar" Shane Mosley card Saturday evening got to see a special moment as an aging former champion upset his heavily favored and younger foe. Unfortunately for the 39 year old Mosley, it didn't happen in the main event.
Jorge Arce may be the oldest 31 year old in boxing. The veteran of 63 professional bouts seemingly can't keep himself from being in a war, and fights with bizarre regularity for an accomplished multiple time champion. In 2010 alone he stepped into the ring five times going 4-0-1 and earning a shot at the undefeated and highly ranked Wilfredo Vazquez Jr.
Arce entered the ring a bigger underdog than Mosley would in the main event, a fact that was not played up well enough by the commentary team during the bout. Vazquez had the size advantage, Arce was moving up to super bantamweight to avoid putting his body through weight cuts. But that wasn't the only advantage Wilfredo had coming in. Scott Christ of Bad Left Hook explained in his undercard preview:
Vazquez, 26, has not taken near the punishment Arce has over the years, and is the fresher, younger, stronger, faster fighter. Arce's best chance in this fight is hoping that his power carries its way up and he can bang with Vazquez, plus he'll have to lure him into the sort of firefight where anything can happen. If the power isn't there, he's in trouble. Vazquez has the ability to outbox Arce easily, and the power to take him out.
Arce's power did translate to the new weight quite well and a firefight is exactly what followed. Vazquez seemed often uncomfortable with the pressure of his veteran foe and spent much of the fight more concerned with trying to land a counter shot while absorbing blows than he wasn't getting in enough offense to discourage Arce's pressure.
In round three Vazquez nailed Arce with a huge punch that sent him to the canvas. Arce made his way to his feet, the round ended and as the next began it was the same exact Jorge swimming forward winging his punches at Vazquez's cranium. It was a beautiful display of the championship heart of a man who has been through wars his entire career and would rather go out on his shield than not give everything he had to give. Eventually he gave more than Vazquez's father was willing to see him take as they stopped the fight in the final round with Arce blitzing his young opponent, leaving only the ropes holding him up.
It was a great moment by a fighter who has delivered for the fans time and time again. How can you not love a man who leaves seemingly every fight looking like this:
Fans tuning in to the card wanted to see an amazing upset and they got it, I hope they realize it.