Villanueva seizes OPBF superfly crown
TOKYO—Arthur Villanueva took the vacant OPBF superflyweight title with a hairline yet well-received unanimous decision victory over Japanese Taiki Eto at the famed Korakuen Hall recently.
Villanueva, fighting out of Cebu’s ALA Stable, picked himself up twice from knockdowns in the first and ninth rounds to pip Eto at the end of the 12-round encounter.
The judges scored it 113-112, 113-112, and 114-112 all in favor of Villanueva, who was assisted in his corner by his manager Rev. Henry Guanzon, ALA chief trainer Edito Villamor and Japan-based Sol Ano-os.
International matchmaker Joe Koizumi told the new champ that he will have to make a mandatory defense against compatriot Marco Demecillo.
Villanueva’s victory capped a successful campaign by Filipinos here last week which started when OPBF flyweight champion Rocky Fuentes successfully defended his title over Japanese Yuki Nasu via a decision at the same venue.
A big right from Eto knocked down Villanueva at the close of the first round before the Bacolod-raised, Cebu-based fighter outboxed the local fighter in the second and third rounds to take the upperhand.
A big overhand right by Villanueva knocked down Eto in the fourth round and the Filipino followed it up by taking rounds five and six.
Villanueva got careless in the ninth, and another right from Eto saw the Filipino again kissing the canvas.