By Ronnie Nathanielsz
In an unprecedented showing, champions from the famed ALA Gym have emerged as Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation champions.
Some 24 hours after world rated flyweight champion Rocky Fuentes hammered Japan’s OPBF No. 9 ranked Yuki Nasu to retain his title another crack ALA fighter Arthur Villanueva who is managed by Rev. Pastor Guanzon of Bacolod won the vacant OPBF super flyweight title with a close but hard fought unanimous decision over Taiki Eto of Japan at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.
Nicknamed “King Arthur”, Villanueva who was ranked No. 2 was dropped twice according to a text message from trainer Edito “Ala” Villamor but recovered to punish No. 8 ranked Eto to win the nod of all three judges by margins of 113-112, 114-112 and 113-112 which appeared hard to achieve especially against a Japanese opponent fighting before a hometown crowd..
ALA Gym’s respected patron Tony Aldeguer told the Manila Standard “its tough to win a close fight in Japan and such a win is very seldom.”
He said it is evident that Villanueva fought through the two knockdowns to demonstrate his fighting heart to earn the decision.
Aldeguer said Fuentes who is ranked No. 2 by the WBA and No. 3 by the WBC mauled Nasu last night to make the 7th successful defense of his regional belt.
Fuentes is looking to face WBC champion Toshiyuki Igarashi of Japan.
With the victory the undefeated Villanueva improved his recoed to 21-0 with 12 knockouts while Eto falls to 10-2 with 7 knockouts.