MANILA, Philippines – Filipino prospect “King” Arthur Villanueva had to fight hard to kept his boxing record clean as he was given a tough challenge by Mexican Fernando Aguilar in their super flyweight showdown at Pinoy Pride XXIV Saturday.
Aguilar was a late replacement, but still gave Villanueva all the Filipino could handle over the course of 10 rounds. The 25-year-old Villanueva pulled out a unanimous decision victory, with the judges scoring the bout 94-94, 95-92, and 96-91.
Villanueva, sporting a swollen left eye after the 10-rounder, admitted to reporters that he had trouble adjusting to the Mexican’s style and counter-punching tactics.
“Nahirapan ako umadjust sa style niya, tsaka medyo nanggigil ako eh. Iniisip ko na isang tama lang, mana-knockout agad,” he said.
“First round pa lang, nakikita ko na open siya, pero hindi ako makatama ng malakas,” he explained. “Tapos, pag nakatama ako ng malakas, hindi naman ako maka-follow up. Doon ako nahirapan. Nahirapan ako mag-adjust.”
“Pag natamaan siya, meron talaga siyang pang-counter. Pag pumasok ako, natatamaan ako,” he added.
Villanueva made no secret of the fact that he was dissatisfied with how he performed, especially as he was going for a knockout victory.
“I am very disappointed. It’s a big (learning) experience for me,” he said.
But Villanueva was also quick to praise Aguilar, who showed remarkable fighting heart despite the odds.
“Talangang matapang ‘yung Mexicano, tsaka magaling din, matibay,” he said. “Doon po ako hanga sa kanya.”
“Hindi talaga (ako satisfied), pero masaya pa rin ako at nagpapasalamat ako sa Diyos na nanalo ako,” he added. “Siguro next time, mas pagbubutihin ko pa, para mas maipakita ko sa mga Pilipino na magaling na ako, na mas nag-improve ako.”
Villanueva hiked his record to 25-0, with 14 wins coming by way of knockout.