By Chito Katangkatang
Photo: Glenn Estrada
Pinoy Pride XXI has gotten more exciting with the inclusion of the WBO Asia Pacific Superflyweight bout between ALA Gym top prospect and reigning OPBF Super flyweight Champion “King” Arthur Villanueva (22-0, 12 KOs) against Mexican slugger Arturo “Fuerte” Badillo (21-4, 19 KOs). Villanueva shares the same roots with WBO minimumweight king Merlito Sabillo who will headline Saturday’s Event. Both are natives of Bacolod City and are managed by the Reverend Henry Guanzon, a benevolent Christian Pastor from the same City.
“I am very excited to add the WBO regional strap to my waist. Badillo is my first Mexican opponent. I am ready for him. I have fought tougher opponents in the past which include WBC International Flyweight Champ Rey Migreño who has sent Thai Legend Pongsaklek Wonjongkam into retirement via KO3. I have also beaten former undefeated Philippine Superflyweight King Marco Demecillo. I am not underestimating Badillo because all Mexicans are born warriors. But I can say I am very much ready to take whatever he brings inside the ring”, Villanueva told this scribe.
ALA Promotions Honcho Mike Aldeguer sees Villanueva as another upcoming world champion from their stable because of his almost complete package as a fighter. Villanueva can punch and box at the same time. He has the skills and the knockout power. He can also adjust his fight spontaneously on the ring when required.
Having chronicled most fights of Villanueva and Sabillo during the early days of their career in Bacolod, this author have seen all these things coming. Both kids will be world champions soon. Sabillo has the belt. Villanueva is on his way. Should King Arthur make a good statement in his war against Badillo, then the world championship belt is definitely just a couple of fights away.
“I can’t believe what God has done for mine and Junjun Sabillo’s career. We were just a couple of kids from Bacolod fighting in order to get out of poverty. Now he is a world champion and I have my own regional belt. God is good. Our manager and promoter has been so good. And you boxing fans have aso been good to us. Please support us all the way and watch our fight tomorrow at the Solaire Resort and Casino!,” Villanueva concluded.