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.
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