Villanueva bringing his skills to Vegas

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Friday, September 30, 2011


A NEW boxing star on the rise from Mindanao will bring his skills to America in what could be the first real test of his young career.

Lorenzo "Thunderbolt" Villanueva, a 24-year-old shy boxer from Midsayap, North Cotabato, is set to fight in the undercard of the much-awaited third ring encounter between Filipino world champion Manny Pacquiao and Mexican warrior Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 12.

This is one golden opportunity Villanueva and his manager Manny Piñol would not want to pass since a victory by the young pug under the glittering lights of the world's gambling capital will definitely raise his value and, more importantly, attract big-time boxing promoters.

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Villanueva was selected by Pacquiao himself to be in the card and has in fact started training with the eight-division champion in Baguio for the Vegas campaign under no less than famed American trainer Freddie Roach and top conditioning coach Alex Ariza.

Piñol said Villanueva even impressed Roach in the early days of training.
"Freddie Roach, of course, saw some flaws in Villanueva's arsenal but had them corrected right away," Piñol said. "Villanueva was taught how to go for a quick counter against an opponent's jab."

Piñol, former governor of North Cotabato, accompanied Villanueva in the Baguio training camp a few weeks ago and was grateful that Pacquiao picked his prized fighter to be one of three Filipino boxers actually fighting in the November 12 promotion.

Aside from Villanueva, the current World Boxing Organization (WBO) Oriental featherweight champion, Philippine welterweight champion Dennis Laurente and junior bantamweight Fernando Lumacad are also fighting in the Pacquiao-Marquez card.

Piñol said this is the break they have been waiting for, to have Villanueva fight in the United States and in a card featuring no less than the world's most exciting fighter today, Manny Pacquiao.

One could easily comprehend why Villanueva was selected to fight in the Pacquiao-Marquez event. The fighter from North Cotabato holds a very impressive record of 21 wins with 20 knockout wins, and is undefeated.

Villanueva, just like other young boxers, dreams of becoming a world champion someday and will take a huge step towards that dream with a win in America.

"Lorenzo has skills and also packs power in both hands. But, more than that, he has the heart," Piñol said.

It's now up to Villanueva to prove himself he is ready for the big fights.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 01, 2011.

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