Arthur Villanueva to face bantamweight champ Luis Nery in non-title fight

Ryan Songalia
Arthur Villanueva to face bantamweight champ Luis Nery in non-title fight
The Filipino boxer will face WBC bantamweight champ-in-limbo Luis Nery on November 4 in Tijuana, Mexico

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino boxer Arthur Villanueva will head overseas for another big fight, this time for a 10-round non-title bout against WBC bantamweight champ-in-limbo Luis Nery.

The fight is set for November 4 at Gasmart Stadium in Nery’s hometown of Tijuana, Mexico and will be Nery’s first since he stopped the previously-undefeated bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka in 4 rounds last August.  

The result was thrown into dispute when it was announced that Nery (24-0, 18 knockouts) had tested positive for the banned substance Zilpaterol, which the World Boxing Council (WBC) described as “very similar to” Clenbuterol. Zilpaterol is on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s prohibited substance list under “other anabolic agents.”

The WBC has yet to issue a ruling about whether Nery will remain champion.

Villanueva (31-2, 17 KOs) has been in training since his fourth-round stoppage of Richie Mepranum on September 16, which he dominated with his size and strength. Villanueva’s two defeats came in decision losses to McJoe Arroyo and Zolani Tete, the latter of which came in April this year.

Villanueva, who is 6 years Nery’s senior at 28, said he prefers the style match-up with the aggressive Nery more than the rangy boxer Tete, who did not allow Villanueva to get inside and exchange punches. 

“[Nery is] strong and never stops punching,” said Villanueva of Bago City, Philippines. “I think [Tete] is better than him, but I know he is a dangerous opponent.

“But for me as a boxer, [I] like to fight with [Nery’s] style than the style of Tete. I think I can hit Nery compared to Tete, I could not hit him.”

Edito Villamor, who trains Villanueva out of the ALA Gym in Cebu City, shares his pupil’s view of the matchup, saying: “Both fighters like to engage the fight. The one who hits first will win the fight. It’s a big chance.”

The fight will be carried by Azteca 7 in Mexico and beIN Sports internationally. Villanueva’s promoter Michael Aldeguer was not sure if the fight would be carried on ABS-CBN, which typically airs ALA Promotions cards, “because it’s not a world title [fight] anymore.” –

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