Pinoy Pride 34: Villanueva plans to wear opponent down before going in for the kill

Mark Escarlote on Nov 27, 2015 04:22 PM
Pinoy Pride 34: Villanueva predicts late round KO win
Sigurado ako na hindi kami aabot ng 12 rounds --- Villanueva

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu --- Filipino fighter Arthur Villanueva is looking at the sixth round as his window to attack Mexican opponent Victor Mendez.

Wary of how dangerous his hard-hitting rival is if he engages him early in the match, the 26-year-old Villanueva said that he’ll wear Mendez down and test his endurance before going for the kill on Saturday’s Pinoy Pride 34: “Back with a Vengeance” where the vacant WBC International Super Flyweight belt is at stake.

The 8-bout fist fest starts at 6:00 p.m. at the Hoops Dome.   

“Mataas (ang knockout percentage) niya.  Mahirap siyang kalaban kasi 'yung 10 sa 15 niyang knockouts, hindi umabot sa third round ang laban. So kailangan ko talagang mag-ingat sa one, two at three rounds. I plan na dito na ako sa sixth round hahataw,” said Villanueva, who holds a 27-1 win-loss card with 14 knockouts.         

Villanueva, the former IBF International Super Flyweight champion, former WBO International Jr. Bantamweight titlist, former WBO Asia Pacific Jr. Bantamweight belt winner and former OPBF Super Flyweight king, is raring to put another belt on his waist after suffering a 10th round technical decision loss to Puerto Rican southpaw McJoe Arroyo last July 18 in El Paso, Texas.

The 22-year-old Sonora, Mexico slugger Mendez is a knockout artist with all but four of his 19 wins decided with his opponents sprawling on the canvass.

“Sigurado ako na hindi kami aabot ng 12 rounds,” added Villanueva. “Nakikita sa laban niya, ang style kasi ni Mendez ang gusto niya bugbugan talaga. Yan ang gusto kong kalaban kasi kaya kong ma-control ang laban.”

“Sa sixth round na talaga ako babanat. Kailangan ko lang mag-isang sa first, second at third round kasi doon ang lakas niya.”   

Villanueva tipped the scale a ½ pound heavier than their 115 lbs. bout. He needed to strip his underwear to catch the requirement in the official weigh-in Friday at the Gaisano Island Mall.  

Mendez weighed exactly 115 lbs.

In other weigh-in results, Milan Melindo (32-2, 12KO) weighed 113 ¾ lbs. while his Mexican rival Victor Olivo (9-0, 4 KO) tipped the scale at 113 in their 112 lbs. non-title bout.

AJ “Bazooka” Banal (33-2-1, 22 KO) came a pound heavier in his 126 lbs. fight against Tanzanian Emilio Norfat (24-6, 18KO) who weighed 124 ½ lbs.

Prospect Kevin Cataraja (1-0, 1 KO) and his opponent Indonesian veteran Faris Nenggo (10-8-2) both weighed exactly 112 lbs.       

Other undercards are between Rocky Fuentes and Indon Afrizal Tamboresi; Melvin Jerusalem and Crison Omayao; Criz Ganoza and Fabio Marfa while Christian Bacolod crosses fists with Delfin De Asis.

Pinoy Pride 34 will air on November 29, Sunday at 10 a.m. on ABS-CBN channel 2 and 9 p.m. on ABS-CBN Sports+Action channel 23.





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