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Donaire KOs Arce, sends Mexican to retirement

MANILA, Philippines – WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire Jr. continued his rise to boxing’s upper echelon, knocking out Mexican Jorge Arce in three rounds to retain his title today at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

Donaire started out the fight feeling Arce out, landing a couple of big counters to easily pocket the opening round. In a brief exchange, the Filipino American then decked the Mexican in the second round with a short right hand counter, with both of Arce’s gloves touching the canvas. The latter briefly protested the knockdown and pressed on to survive the round.

The end came in the third canto as Donaire dropped Arce anew, pummeling the gritty Mexican for another knockdown. Arce would rise again, only to hit the canvas brutally after receiving a left hook from Donaire.

Arce laid flat on his back, resulting in a knockout victory for Donaire, who stretched his winning streak to 30. The Mexican stayed on the canvass for several minutes but turned out to be fine.

The official time of the knockout is 2:59 of the third round.

It was a sweet win for Donaire, who was the bright spot in a grim week for Philippine sports that was hounded by Manny Pacquiao’s knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez last Sunday.

Arce, a champion in four divisions, then announced his retirement. He leaves the sport with a record of 61-7-2, with 46 knockouts.

Donaire, who made a strong case for a Fighter of the Year award, improved to 31-1, with 20 knockouts.