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Villanueva has no room for error: Coach

Villanueva has no room for error: Coach

By: Edri K. Aznar

Sunstar Cebu

BEING too confident may lead to being careless.

That was what happened to unbeaten world-rated super flyweight prospect Arthur Villanueva in his last fight against an unknown last-minute replacement fighter in Fernando Aguilar in March.

And he paid for it dearly.

Villanueva was coming in as a wide favorite and was poised to easily run through Aguilar, who owned a 10-7 record with two knockouts.

Instead, Villanueva was in the toughest fight of his career, in which he got battered and bruised, but luckily did well enough to win a unanimous decision despite the punishment.

“We believe that he was just too confident,” ALA Gym head coach Edito Villamor told Sun.Star Cebu of what he thought of his 25-year-old fighter’s previous bout.

It, however, won’t happen again, with Villanueva given constant reminders by his coaches that he doesn’t need any room for mistakes because he is so close to a world title shot.

“We remind him all the time not to get too confident against any opponent and treat every fight like it is a world title fight,” said Villamor.

The more reason for Villanueva not get too confident is his upcoming fight, when he steps in the ring with a possible threat to his road to a world championship.

Villanueva faces hard-hitting Nicaraguan prospect Henry Maldonado for the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) International super flyweight crown in one of the featured bouts of ALA Promotions’ first international show, Pinoy Pride 27 – “Duel in Dubai”, on Sept. 5 at the Dubai World Trade Center in Dubai, UAE.

“Yes, Maldonado is a dangerous fighter. He can box or slug but that depends on their training camp on what style they have trained for against Arthur. That’s why we prepared really well so that he can give us a great result in this fight and make up for his unimpressive win in his last fight,” said Villamor.

Unbeaten up-and-comer Genesis Servania headlines the blockbuster boxing show as he defends his World Boxing Organization (WBO) Inter-Continental super bantamweight belt against former world title challenger Jose Cabrera, while ever-exciting Rey “Boom-Boom” Bautista will also be featured in the event against Mexican prospect Juan Jose Martinez.

The 26-year-old Maldonado is 19-3 with 14 knockouts. He owns a split decision win over former IBF and World Boxing Association (WBA) super flyweight Liborio Solis and has fought but lost to the likes of unbeaten prospect Jessie Magdaleno and former world title contender Julio Ceja.

“We will look at the result of this fight and if he is impressive then we can say that he really is ready for a world title. However, it depends on Sir ALA (Antonio L. Aldeguer) and Sir Mike (Michael Aldeguer) on which organization they would want Arthur to fight in,” said Villamor.

Villanueva, 25-0 with 14 knockouts, is rated No. 2 in the WBO and No. 4 in the IBF. He is also rated No. 8 in the WBA and No. 14 in the World Boxing Council (WBC).

But if Villamor had his way, he has two choices.

“Either of the two, the WBO title of Omar Narvaez of the IBF of Zolani Tete.”

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