By Jake Donovan
McWilliams Arroyo is well on course to make weight for his second career title shot. The perennial Top 10 flyweight contender tipped the scales at a trim yet healthy 120.2 lbs. 30 days ahead of his April 23 showdown with World flyweight king Roman Gonzalez at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
The weight was reported by Puerto Rico Best Boxing Promotions upon approval from the World Boxing Council (WBC), the Mexico-based sanctioning body whose title is at stake in the aforementioned bout. Gonzalez-Arroyo will air live on HBO, in chief support to unbeaten, unified middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin, who faces mandatory challenger Dominic Wade.
Both Gonzalez (whose weight was not yet made avaialble as this goes to publish) and Arroyo were required to weigh no more than 123.2 lbs. - or 10% of the contracted 112 lb. weight limit - at the 30-day point, as per a two-part weight safety check. WBC title participants are required to weigh no more than 10% of their contracted weight limit 30 days out and no more than 5% of said limit seven days prior to fight night.
Arroyo (16-2, 14KOs) and his twin brother McJoe both represented their native Puerto Rico in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and turned pro together in Feb. '10. Their careers have taken on varying degrees of success and letdowns, although both remain top fighters in their respective weight divisions.
McJoe Arroyo presently reigns as a super flyweight titlist, due to defend his belt versus Jerwin Ancajas. Their mandatory title fight takes place on week prior to Gonzalez-Arroyo, on April 16 in the Philippines, a scenario in which McJoe was placed after his team - which includes adviser Al Haymon - neglected to secure rights during a purse bid held earlier this year.
It remains the lone letdown of his otherwise spotless pro career to date.
McWilliams' heartbreaks have come in the ring. He suffered a loss early in his career, but bounced back strong to punch his way into title contention, including a savage 2nd round knockout of previously unbeaten Froilan Saludar in their June '14 title eliminator. The feat led to his first career title shot, managing to floor undefeated International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight champ Amnat Ruenroeng midway through their Sept. '14 clash, only to come up just short on the road in Thailand.
Just one fight has followed, a 3rd round knockout of Victor Ruiz last April in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. He was due to take a stay-busy fight in the summer, only for the opportunity to be scrapped while in pursuit of another title.
His name emerged among a short list of potential candidates to face Gonzalez (44-0, 38KOs), who makes the fourth defense of his lineal flyweight championship, in addition to the WBC strap. The former strawweight and junior flyweight titlist successfully annexed the flyweight crown with a 9th round knockout of Akira Yaegashi in Sept. '14, in fact just five days prior to Arroyo's loss to Ruenroeng.
Three successful defenses (and a non-title win) have followed, a run that has included his HBO debut which came in this very venue last May. Gonzalez starched former 108 lb. titlist Edgar Sosa in two rounds, following up the feat with a 9th round stoppage of Brian Viloria last October in his first-ever appearance at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox