Saturday, February 16, 2019

Villanueva cries foul after losing IBF title fight

“KING” Arthur Villanueva’s fight was cut short along with his world title hopes after his International Boxing Federation (IBF) super flyweight bout with McJoe Arroyo yesterday at the Don Haskins Convention Center in El Paso, Texas was stopped due to a gash on his right eye.

Due to the ring physician’s advice, referee Rafael Ramos stopped the fight in 2:05 of the 10th round and the outcome went to the scorecards.

Judge Larry Hazzard Jr. and Levi Martinez had identical scores of 98-91, while John Stewart scored it 97-92, giving the 29-year-old Arroyo a unanimous technical decision and making him the new IBF super flyweight titleholder.

Villanueva disapproves of the judges’ decision because he believes that he was gaining momentum in the later rounds and was winning the fight.

“It (my cut) was okay but we don’t have a choice because they have the control. I don’t agree with the scores because they made sure that I was way behind on the scorecards,” he said. “I believe I was ahead. He couldn’t hit me with a solid punch.”

The 26-year-old Villanueva pointed out that the decision was clearly not right because of the reaction of the fans after the decision was announced.

“He (Arroyo) was booed by the fans,” he said.

Crowd reaction

Villanueva was deducted a point in the sixth round by Ramos for coming in with his head. In that same round, Villanueva suffered the gash on his right eyebrow area from an accidental clash of heads.

Villanueva’s coach Edito Villamor felt that the fight shouldn’t have been stopped because they were in control of the cut.

“We will just accept the decision that they gave. But I don’t agree that the fight should have been stopped because Arthur’s wound wasn’t bleeding. If it was, then it should be stopped. One more thing, the wound wasn’t on the eyelid. But we can’t do anything about it because that was their decision. We never complain, better luck next time,” he said.

Villamor felt that it was anyone’s fight after the ninth round and the championship rounds could have been a very crucial part of the fight when Villanueva was rallying.

“I thought the fight was even after the ninth round,” he said.

With the loss, Villanueva suffered his first career loss and dropped to 27-1 with 14 knockouts. Arroyo, on the other hand, remained unbeaten and improved to 17-0 with eight knockouts.

If given a chance to choose, Villanueva wants a rematch and prove that he deserves to be king.

“I don’t know what’s next but if there is a chance I want a rematch.”
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