Villanueva in Cebu training for comeback

FORMER world title contender Arthur Villanueva is back in Cebu to prepare for his upcoming ring return.

Villanueva arrived in Cebu in February and is currently training under the guidance of John Wild, who has trained the likes of April Jay Abne, Salatiel Amit and BJ Wild.

“We are staying and training here in Marco Polo Plaza Cebu. We do the mitts and treadmill in Marco Polo and in the afternoon, go to City Lights and do bagging there,” said Villanueva.

He said that Wild and his Slovenian manager Hinko Kostanvejec is currently negotiating for his fight, possibly in Cebu in March.

“I’m going to fight at 122 pounds. I think it’s all good because I still have a month to train,” he said.

The 32-year-old Villanueva retired from boxing in 2019 following his sixth round stoppage loss to World Boxing Council (WBC) bantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali in Kazakhstan. He had a change of heart in 2020 after he was given an offer by Kostanvejec.

Villanueva, 32-4-1 with 18 knockouts, has already had a sparring session with Wild but will be looking for other sparring partners from different gyms.

“My movement is good. I just can go all out because there is no ring. BJ and I didn’t take the sparring very seriously,” he said. “I think we can go to different gyms and look for sparring.”

Villanueva has a lot of options. He can go to the Villamor Brothers Boxing Gym, Phil-Aust Boxing Gym and Big Yellow Boxing Gym.

The Villamor Brothers Boxing Gym of Edito and Edmund Villamor is home to four-division world champion Donnie Nietes, who himself is working on his ring return. Jeo Santisima and KJ Cataraja, also Villanueva’s former ALA Gym teammates, are training at the Phil-Aust Boxing Gym and also frequent the Villamor Brothers Boxing Gym as Nietes’ sparmates. The Big Yellow Boxing Gym also has a lot of young prospects that could be sparring partners of Villanueva, the likes of Rhonvex Capuloy and Carlo Demecillo.


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