According to Filipino sources there is work going on behind the scenes for Arthur Villanueva (30-1, 16) to battle with South African Zolani Tete (24-3, 20) in a WBO Bantamweight world title eliminator.
Although the story is that the two teams are talking of having their fighters face off there is little set in stone about the actual contest, though the reward for the winner is known and that prize will be a mandatory world title shot in 2017 with the winner facing the winner of the upcoming title bout between Marlon Tapales (29-2, 12) and Takuma Inoue (8-0, 2) [井上 拓真].
For Villanueva a bout with Tete would be among the toughest of his career, at least on par with his sole loss against McJoe Arroyo back in a 2015 world title bout. It would however be a great chance to become a much more well known name internatioanlly with Tete viewed as an avoided dangerman. As for Tete the bout would see him take a huge step towards become a 2-weight world champion, and would be his biggest bout since his 2015 win over Paul Butler, a win that saw him travel to Liverpool to stop a local favourite in eye catching fashion.
At the moment there is no date, or venue, for the bout but it's certainly an interesting match up and one that could be a potentially brilliant bout in early 2017.
Earlier this year we saw Arthur Villanueva (30-1, 16) claim the WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title with a controversial KO win against Mexican Juan Jimenez (22-11, 15), with that KO being scored when the two men clashed heads. Last night in California the two men met again in a rematch.
At the weigh in a gaunt looking Jimenez failed to make the weight, and was punished by wearing heavier gloves. Those heavier gloves, a usual punishment for missing weight in the Philippines, looked served to both limit the power of the Mexican, slow his handspeed and hurt his stamina making it a fitting punishment for failing on the scales.
The first round was a competitive round, it felt like both men saw the round as round 5 of their rivalry and not round 1 of fight #2. This meant it was an exciting bout from the off, though perhaps lacked real class at times with both looking a little rough around the edges. That roughness however proved to be an advantage for Villanueva in round 2 when he finished the bout with an unusual looking right hand hand that had followed on from a left hook that had glanced the gloves of Jimenez. The right hand had the Filipino's full weight behind it and it landed right on the jaw of Jimenez who face planted the canvas.
With the win Villanueva records the first defense of his title and puts to bed any doubt as to who the better fighter is, though it's fair to say he will need to tighten up if he's to win a Bantamweight title. For Jimenez the bout will likely be his final at Bantamweight, and a move to Super Bantamweight is likely. The bout was also a chance to see the heavier gloves for missing weight punishment used in the US, something that perhaps should be tried more often as it has been an effective punishment in the Philippines.
The scales can be the bane of most professional boxers, even those comfortable at their weight may have their battles with the scales at times and dehydration, here's looking at you Floyd. That was seen yesterday at the weigh in for today's big Philippines Vs Mexico card, which has one fighter fail to make weight ahead of a highly anticipated rematch.
That fighter failing on the scales was Juan Jimenez (22-10, 15), who was unable to make the 118lbs limit for his rematch with Arthur Villanueva (29-1, 15), which is being fought for the WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title.
Originally Jimenez hit the scales at 119½lbs, a full 1½lbs above the limit. He was given 2 hours to lose the weight and had lost ½lb when he hit the scales a second time, before being told not to lose more for medical reasons. Despite failing to make the weight he did look gaunt in the face and it was clear that he shouldn't be fighting at 118lbs.
As punishment for missing weight the Mexican will be forced to wear heavier gloves for the bout, a punishment that is common place in the Philippines as a handicap, he will also be unable to win the title.
As for the champion Villanueva made the 118lb limit with room to spare, weighing 117½lbs. That is the same as he was in their first bout, a bout that ended in controversial circumstances with Jimenez being knocked out by an accidental headclash in the 4th round.
With the bout still going on Villanueva will be more strongly favoured than he was previously due to the glove punishment of Jimenez, which really is a significant handicap and has proven to be effective in bouts in the Philippines, and will perhaps begin to be used in more countries in the future.
Earlier this year fight fans saw Filipino former world title challenger Arthur Villanueva (29-1, 15) claim a highly controversial win over Mexican Juan Jimenez (22-10, 15). That bout ended when a headbutt left Jimenez unconscious and saw Villanueva claim a KO win, when really the bout should have been ruled a No Contest or a technical draw.
Tomorrow the two men have a rematch for the WBO Asia Pacific title, a title that Villaneuva claimed with that first win over the experienced Mexican. As with their first contest the Filipino is the betting favourite, with the bookies pricing the Filipino at 1/7 to win the bout and retain his title, making his first defense of the belt.
Jimenez, who actually dropped Villanueva before being stopped, is priced at a sizeable 4/1 to win and claim revenge over the Filipino fighter, with those oddes looking rather interesting given the trouble he had given the Filipino in the early stages.
For those interested in the draw that has been priced at 15/1 and could well be a value bet given the headclash in their first bout.
For those who didn't see their first contest we have included it below.
Since the start of this month we've known that Donnie Nietes (38-1-4, 22) would be facing former world champion Edgar Sosa (52-9, 30) on September 24th at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. The bout is supposed to help Nietes prepare for a Flyweight title bout in 2017 and should help him adapt to the new weight, ahead of a possible show down with Juan Francisco Estrada.
Since the announcement of Nietes Vs Solis we've seen two under-card bouts being set for the card.
The chief support bout will see the once beaten Arthur Villanueva (29-1, 15) defending his WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title against Mexico's Juan Jimenez (22-10, 15). Villanueva won the title back in May, when he scored a very controversial knockout win against Jimenez, who seemed to be finished off with a headbutt. It's clear that Jimenez will be seeking revenge for that loss, which ended a 3 fight winning streak. For Villanueva the bout allows him to claim a legitimate win over the Mexican and also allows him to score a win on US soil, something he failed to do last year when he controversially lost to McJoe Arroyo in a world title bout.
The other under-card bout will see the highly regarded Mark Magsayo (14-0,11) face Mexican Ruben Garcia (17-2-1,7). The twice beaten Mexican, who has lost to Rafael Rivera and Randy Caballero, comes into this bout with back to back wins in the Dominican Republic. Although not the most talented fighter he will be coming to win. For Magsayo the bout will be his second in the US and will see him defending teh WBO International Featherweight title, a title he won earlier this year in a slugfest with Chris Avalos.
We're awaiting more announcements regarding the show but it seems like those 3 bouts will the only notable ones.
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