Thomas & Mack Cener, LAS VEGAS, APRIL 8
Arce was merciless / Photo: SUMIO YAMADA

Although the main event was billed as “Sworn Enemies" the real grudge match on the big night came in the flyweight scheduled 12-rounder that saw Jorge "Travieso" Arce beat up and knock out veteran Rosendo Alvarez in the sixth round.

I was not sure what to think when Alvarez came in overweight for what was to have been a title fight, scaling 115 pounds (to Arce’s 111 pounds — one pound inside the flyweight limit).

Alvarez, I suspected, was up to his old tricks: it is nothing new for him to fail to make weight and then — helped by being the heavier man — give a strong performance on the night, as he did in losing a classic match against Ricardo Lopez in Las Vegas and when beating old rival Beibis Mendoza at Madison Square Garden.

This time, though, the weight did not help Alvarez at all and at 35 he suddenly looked an old, tired fighter. He said afterwards through an interpreter that losing weight late had weakened him so much that he vomited on the day of the fight, and indeed he had a wasted, drained look about him.

I thought that Alvarez won the first round by being much the busier fighter, although only one of the judges agreed — but it was already clear that the Nicaraguan could not hurt Arce, who looked much the bigger boxer and far stronger.

As it went on, Arce taunted the older man in between hitting him with heavy hooks, right hands and body blows, making Alvarez pay over and over again for slapping the Mexican's face in a scuffle in Cancun in January. Although Alvarez kept trying and did land his share of punches it was to no avail as Arce, the little powerhouse from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, merely tapped his chin in the “Hit me again" gesture and then proceeded with the slow, steady beatdown.

Alvarez, nose bloody and looking thoroughly discouraged, finally took a knee — and the 10 count — in the sixth after being hurt by a hook to the body. I didn’t blame him.

Last Updated: 
April 10, 2006 - 5:13pm