King Arthur Villanueva gets shot at world title in Texas fight vs Puerto Rican Arroyo
King Arthur Villanueva is unbeaten in 27 fights but settled for unimpressive decisions in his last three. Jerome Ascano

CEBU CITY – King Arthur Villanueva gets the biggest break of his career as he vies for the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) super flyweight title next week in El Paso, Texas.

The 26-year-old Villanueva will be up against unbeaten Puerto Rican McJoe Arroyo in their July 18 title bout to be held at the Don Haskins Convention Center.

A World Championship bronze medalist (2007) and an Olympian (2008), the 29-year-old Arroyo is 16-0 as a pro, with eight of his wins coming by way of knockout.

Like Arroyo, the Filipino pride from Bacolod City also carries a perfect record (27-0, 14 KOs), giving the 12-round match a lot of promise.

ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer admitted Villanueva may not have looked good in his last two fights, but it was a title opportunity that was too good to pass up.

“The opportunity is there. You have to take a chance,” he said. “Arthur has 27 fights, and either he has it or he doesn’t have it.”

Accompanied by chief trainer Edito Villamor, Villanueva’s small entourage already left for the US last week and is currently training at the Wild Card gym of trainer Freddie Roach.

Edmund Villamor, another member of Villanueva’s corner, is set to follow them to California a day after Donnie Nietes’ title match against Francisco Rodriguez, while Aldeguer will leave for the US on July 14.

Villanueva only settled for decisions in his last three fights, and was fortunate to escape with a split decision over Henry Maldonado in ALA Promotions’ Dubai fight card in September last year.

But Aldeguer said the results doesn’t matter anymore as long as Villanueva makes himself ready and fit for his fight against Arroyo.

“This could be the right time for Arthur,” he added.

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