Jorge Armando Arce Armenta (born July 27, 1979) best
known as Jorge Arce is a Mexican professional boxer. He is the second
Mexican boxer to win a world title in four weight divisions, after
Erik Morales, who first achieved the feat two months prior. Arce has
held the WBO and WBC light flyweight titles; the WBC interim flyweight
title; the WBO and WBA (interim) super flyweight titles: and the WBO
bantamweight and super bantamweight titles.
Arce remains a favorite
fighter among boxing fans and is also the older brother of title contender
Francisco Arce Armenta. Arce's trademark ring entrance features him
wearing a black cowboy hat (thus earning him the nickname "The Mexican
Cowboy") and sucking a cherry lollipop.
years at Light Flyweight
Arce turned pro at the age of 16, winning
his first four fights. He lost to future champion Omar Romero and
drew with Gabriel Munoz in back to back fights in the summer of 1996,
but then won 10 straight bouts and a pair of regional belts before
losing on points to veteran (and future IBF Light Flyweight Champion)
Jose Victor Burgos on December 12, 1997.
He recovered from that
setback with four straight wins, earning his first world title shot
on December 4, 1998 against Juan Domingo Cordoba for the WBO Light
Flyweight title. Arce won the fight and became a world champion at
the age of 19.
After making one successful defense of his title,
Arce drew a big money fight in Tijuana against three time former champion
Michael Carbajal on July 31, 1999. Arce was ahead on all three judges'
scorecards after 10 rounds, but in the 11th, the veteran Carbajal
connected with a stunning right hand and captured the crown via a
technical knockout, as Arce was unable to continue.
After a four
month layoff, Arce returned to the ring and won a WBO regional belt
as he scored 7 consecutive wins while working his way back up the
ranking for another title shot. That came on October 20, 2001, when
he defeated Juanito Rubillar for the Interim WBC version ot the Light
Flyyweight title. Nine months later, he beat Yo-Sam Choi, the reigning
champion who had been out with an injury, to take full distinction.
He held the title until the summer of 2005 before relinquishing it
to move up in weight. In his first defense, he defeated Augustin Lara.
In 2003, he successfully defended his title three times against Ernesto
Castro, Lee Marvin Sandoval, and Melchor Cob Castro.
the end of 2003, he participated in the Televisa version of Big Brother,
the Big Brother V.I.P. show that put celebrities together. He arrived
in third place, then went training for his next defense, against former
world champion Joma Gamboa on January 10 of the following year. Arce
invited his Big Brother celebrity friends to the fight with Gamboa,
his first fight of 2004, which he won by a second round knockout.
But during and after the fight, chaos ensued. One of his friends,
actress Arleth Gonzalez, was kicked off her chair by another person.
And Veronica Castro was pursued by the press when she was trying to
leave the fight site, taking her more than two hours to get to the
site's parking lot.
On April 24, 2004, Arce successfully defended
his title in a rematch against former champ Melchor Cob Castro in
Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas. Arce had beaten Castro in May 2003, but
the fight was called off after six rounds due to a clash of heads
which injured Arce. The fight went to the scorecards and Arce won
a narrow, but controversial, decision. He left no doubt in the rematch,
knocking Castro out in the fifth round.
On September 4 of that
same year, he retained the title with a twelve round decision in a
rematch with Rubillar. The fight caused some controversy afterwards,
when Rubillar's manager accused the fight's judges of robbing his
fighter, going on to offer Arce 100,000 US$ for a rematch, which would
be held in the Philippines.