FORMER world title challenger Arthur Villanueva is back in Cebu City, training for a possible fight before the end of the year.
Villanueva is now training at the Big Yellow Boxing Gym under the guidance of head trainer Christopher “Ping-Ping” Tepora.
“I’m back training because maybe I’ll get a fight in December,” Villanueva told SunStar Cebu. “It’s very hard in Bacolod because there’s no gym available to train in there. I asked coach Ping-Ping for help and he said okay.”
The 32-year-old Villanueva, who’ll be fighting in the bantamweight division, will be in good company, training alongside young promising prospects like Carlo Demecillo, Rhonvex Capuloy and Allan Villanueva.
Villanueva last saw action against Bryan Tamayo last March 27, 2021 in an Omega Sports Promotions’ “Kumbati 9” at the IPI Complex in Mandaue City. He beat Tamayo by a lopsided six-round unanimous decision.
“Maybe they (Big Yellow Boxing Promotions) will have an event and I can fight there. I might travel abroad next year according to my manager,” said Villanueva. “I need to fight an eight-round tune up fight here first before I’m allowed to fight a 10-rounder or a 12-rounder.”
Villanueva retired from boxing following a sixth round stoppage loss to then World Boxing Council (WBC) bantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali in 2019. He already started a restaurant in Bago City and was planning to become a trainer in China. With the Covid-19 pandemic and the closure of ALA Promotions, Villanueva received an offer from Slovenian manager Hinko Kostanvejec. He took the opportunity and gave boxing another shot.
Villanueva is still ranked No. 24 in the WBC, wherein compatriot Nonito Donaire Jr. is currently the titleholder. He has an impressive slate of 33 wins, four losses and a draw with 18 wins by knockout.