‘King’ Arthur Villanueva endures long trip, stomach illness to KO Thai opponent

·2 min read

FORMER world title challenger “King” Arthur Villanueva battled through a long and grueling trip to Pakistan, and a stomach illness to win the World Boxing Association (WBA) Asia South bantamweight strap.

Villanueva demolished Thai knockout artist Jakpan Sangtong over the weekend in Pakistan.

He knocked out Sangtong with a right uppercut to the jaw. Sangtong didn’t bother to stand up and was counted out by the referee.

“I thank God so much that he guided me on top of the ring even though I didn’t feel well. I had loose bowel movement, no sleep and was very tired of the trip. My hard work in training really paid off. Now that I’m a (regional) champion, I hope that I’ll be given a bigger fight next. I’ll do my best in training to become a better fighter. I want to be ranked in the WBA bantamweight division,” the 33-year-old, three-time world title challenger told SunStar Cebu.

Despite the win, Villanueva admitted that it was his worst experience in a buildup to a fight.

“This is my worst experience so far,” said Villanueva.

“We left for Baguio on Wednesday dawn and we reached our hotel in Islamabad at 12:30 a.m. Thursday here (in Pakistan), around 3:30 a.m. Philippine time. Since I arrived here, I haven’t rested. All we did was travel.”

Villanueva and his team left from his training camp in Baguio at 1 a.m. on June 8. It was a seven-hour trip to the airport in Manila. From Manila, Villanueva flew to Thailand and to Islamabad in Pakistan, a nine-hour flight.

From Islamabad, Villanueva and his team endured an 11-hour road trip to Gilgit, where the boxing show was staged.

Villanueva’s hotel was also an hour away from the venue of the event.

Villanueva was drained physically and mentally from the trip but he still pushed on.

“I had a headache when I arrived at the venue. I rested a bit. I was about to give up but I thought to myself that this was the last that I have to endure and that my training would go to waste if I gave up. If I wasn’t well-trained, my body would have given up,” said Villanueva.

Villanueva improved to 34-4-1 with 19 knockouts, while Sangtong dropped to 11-5 with 11 knockouts.

Villanueva said that he’ll likely return to the ring after three months and possibly fight in Dubai, UAE.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting