King Arthur’s homecoming a chance to showcase growth
Santino Honasan on May 26, 2016 10:03 PM
ALL HAIL THE KING! Negros' own "King" Arthur Villanueva (L) will challenge for his seventh career title at Pinoy Pride 36 in Bacolod
This Saturday, Donnie “Ahas” Nietes won’t be the only one making a homecoming.
Christened as “The Pride of Negros” early on in his career, “King” Arthur Villanueva will also be fighting back home for the first time in over five years.
April of 2011 was the last time that Villanueva fought in front of his Negrense kababayans. Back then, he was hardly a king yet, rather a 22-year old unbeaten prospect from Bago City, who had recently won his first boxing title, the GAB Flyweight title.
Thirteen fights, five championships, and a wealth of experience later, Villanueva returns to Negros as one of ALA Boxing’s new rising stars, and he comes back home to try and claim his seventh championship, the vacant WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title.
But more than the new belt up for grabs, the homecoming for Villanueva is a dream come true, because it gives him a chance to show his kababayans that he’s no longer a prospect, rather a star in the making.
“Pangarap ko din na lumaban dito ulit, kasi gusto ko maipakita sa mga kababayan ko kung ano na yung ako ngayon, kumpara sa ako dati.” Villanueva told ABS-CBN Sports. “Lumalaban pa ako dito nung bata ako ng mga four-rounder, gusto ko ipakita sa kanila na mas naging mature na ako ngayon, nag-improve na ako.”
Villanueva will have a golden opportunity to showcase that maturity and improvement when he takes on a fellow champion in Mexico’s Juan “El Penita” Jimenez, the reigning WBC Continental Americas Flyweight Champion.
“Si Jimenez ay dangerous na kalaban din kasi nakita ko na malakas yung suntok niya, kailwa’t kanan, so pinag-handaan ko talaga yung laban namin.” said Villanueva.
And while Villanueva is aware of his opponent’s skills, he says that he’ll definitely be looking for the knockout.
When asked what his edge is over the Mexican champion, Villanueva said that it’s his will to win, and of course the support of the hometown crowd.
“Mas malaking motivation kasi yung ma-feel mo yung na-encourage ka dito mismo ng mga kababayan mo.”
Five years is quite a while, and a lot can change in the span of half a decade. For “King” Arthur, the last five years have definitely made him grow as a boxer.
“Malaki talaga yung nagbago sa akin, experience talaga. Dun sa five years na nakalipas, malaking experience na yung nakuha ko sa paglalaban sa boxing.”
On Saturday, at Pinoy Pride 36, the King comes home.
On May 28th, Negros’ own “King” Arthur Villanueva meets Mexico’s Juan “El Penita” Jimenez for the vacant WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title on Pinoy Pride 36: A Legend in the Making. Catch it on Sunday, May 29, 10:00 am on ABS-CBN Channel 2 and 6:00 pm ABS-CBN Sports+Action 23!