Villanueva battles Arroyo for IBF superfly belt

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Unbeaten Filipino pug “King” Arthur Villanueva will fight Puerto Rican southpaw McJoe Arroyo today for the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) world super flyweight title at the Don Haskin Convention Center in El Paso Texas.

If he wins, Villanueva will become the country’s third world boxing champion in addition to World Boxing Organization light flyweight champion Donnie Nietes and World Boxing Association interim light flyweight titleholder Randy Petalcorin.

ALA promotion trainer Edito Villamor, who accompanied Villanueva in the United States, believes that the Bacolod City native Villanueva has a strong chance of winning because of his superb condition and improved fighting skills.

“McJoe [Arroyo] is undefeated too that’s why we’re taking this matter seriously although I’m confident that Arthur could win a world title,” Villamor told The Manila Times on Friday in a phone interview.


Villanueva, 26, who holds a 27-0 win-loss record with 14 knockouts, trained in Freddie Roach’s Wildcard Gym in Los Angeles, California.

“McJoe [Arroyo] is a Puerto Rican Olympian and has a great technical boxing skills but Villanueva is very determined to become a world title holder,” Villamor added.

Villanueva is the reigning IBF international champion and Oriental Pacific Boxing Federation super flyweight champion. The 29-year-old Arroyo (16-0 record with eight knockouts), on the other hand, gained a world title shot after beating Filipino Mark Anthony Geraldo in an eliminator in Puerto Rico on December 30 last year.

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