Villanueva faces hard-hitting Sangtong for WBA Asia South belt

·2 min read

FORMER world title challenger “King” Arthur Villanueva returns to action on June 11, 2022 and takes on Thai hard-hitter Jakpan Sangtong for the World Boxing Association (WBA) Asia South bantamweight belt in Pakistan.

After retiring from the sport following his loss to Nordine Oubaali in 2019, Villanueva decided to give boxing another shot.

Villanueva returned on March 27, 2021 and beat Bryan Tamayo by unanimous decision in Mandaue City.

The 33-year-old Villanueva is a three-time world challenger. He first fought for a world title in 2015 in El Paso Texas and lost to McJoe Arroyo in a vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) super flyweight title. He challenged Zolani Tete but lost via unanimous decision for the interim World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight belt in Leicestershire, England in 2017. His last world championship fight was against Oubaali in a World Boxing Council (WBC) bantamweight bout in 2019. Oubaali stopped Villanueva in the sixth round.

“I won’t take him for granted because he has 11 wins and 11 knockouts, meaning he has power. He’s also been active despite the pandemic. But I trust in my training that I’ll be ready for this fight,” Villanueva told SunStar Cebu.

“My preparation has been going well. I’m training at the Highland Gym in Baguio. I have sparred a lot because I’ve been here since February. I’ve been sparring with Herlan Gomez, Garen Diagan, MJ Uduna and Jelbirt Gomera.”

Sangtong is winner of his last six contests after a four-fight slump.

Sangtong has fought the likes of Pablo Carrillo and unbeaten Japanese Masayoshi Hashizume.

Sangtong is coming off a first round technical knockout of 19-year-old Suthiphong Sirinai last Sunday, May 1.

Villanueva is 33-4-1 with 18 knockouts, while Sangtong is 11-4 with 11 knockouts.

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