Villanueva to fight Pierce on US soil

Villanueva to fight Pierce on US soil
Boxing SunStar File photo

FORMER ALA Stable fighter Arthur Villanueva returns to action on March 29, 2024, in an eight-rounder against highly-regarded prospect Elijah Pierce at the Overtime Elite Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

After retiring in 2019, Villanueva decided to give boxing another shot and won his last three contests. He outclassed Bryan Tamayo by unanimous decision in 2021, knocked out Jakpan Sangtong in nine rounds in 2022 and stopped Chatre Buakaewdee in four rounds last year.

Villanueva has been training in the US since September last year and helped out former world champion Jerwin Ancajas as his sparring partner.

The 35-year-old Villanueva is a three-time world title challenger. He first fought for a world title in 2015, wherein he lost to McJoe Arroyo via a technical decision in their International Boxing Federation (IBF) super flyweight title fight in Texas. He then fought Zolani Tete for the interim World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight strap in 2017 and lost by unanimous decision in England.

His last attempt was in 2019, in which he was stopped by then World Boxing Council (WBC) bantamweight king Nordine Oubaali in the sixth round in Kazakhstan. Following his loss to Oubaali, he called it a career.

On the other hand, the 27-year-old Pierce is one of the hottest prospects in boxing.

He’s currently on a nine-fight winning streak.

Pierce’s last two wins were against two very credible names. He beat one-time world title challenger Tremaine Williams by unanimous decision in Connecticut and scored an impressive third round knockout of Mike Plania in Atlanta.

Pierce is currently rated No. 9 by the WBO, No. 10 by the World Boxing Association (WBA), No. 11 by the IBF and No. 19 by the WBC.

Villanueva is 35-4-1 with 20 knockouts, while Pierce is 18-2 with 15 knockouts. / EKA

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