By Jake Donovan
The latest title shot for the Arroyo brothers is truly a family affair this time around.
McJoe Arroyo has arrived with his team—including twin brother McWilliams—in El Paso, Texas for his upcoming vacant title fight with fellow unbeaten junior bantamweight contender, Philippines’ Arthur Villanueva. The 12-round bout airs live this Saturday on Showtime, serving as the chief support to Mexico’s Julio Cesar Chavez Jr’s 10-round clash with countryman Marcos Reyes.
The bout marks the second title fight for the Arroyo family, with McWilliams coming up just short in a 12-round decision loss to reigning flyweight titlist Amnat Ruenroeng last September in Thailand. McJoe was unable to make the trip overseas at the time, as he was in preparation for his eventual win over Mark Anthony Geraldo in their title eliminator last December.
It marked the one time either brother wasn’t able to provide in-person support for the other in any given fight, with that dynamic changing this weekend given the absence of a schedule conflict. There’s additional motivation for McWilliams to arrive, however; there stands a chance he may appear on the undercard as a late addition in a stay-busy effort.
"McWilliams and McJoe be together in this world fight,” notes Peter Rivera of Puerto Rico Best Boxing Promotions, who signed the Arroyos immediately following their serving Puerto Rico in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
“Last year, when McWilliams fought for the world title, McJoe could not travel, because the journey was long and McJoe was training, but now it is a more comfortable ride and they will be together on this important date for both. In addition there is the possibility that McWilliams fight this Saturday also. We are looking for an opponent.”
McWilliams Arroyo last fought in April, stopping Victor Ruiz in three rounds in supporting capacity to a show in San Juan topped by Rocky Martinez’ 130 lb. title winning effort over Orlando Salido. McJoe Arroyo has been out of the ring since the aforementioned win over Geraldo, with the downtime spent waiting on eventual confirmation of his showdown with Villanueva.
The Arroyo brothers made their pro debut on the same show in Bayamon, Puerto Rico in Feb. ’10. The occasion marked the first of seven times they’ve appeared on the same bill, the last such instance coming in Feb. ’13, in the very same venue that hosted their respective pro debuts.
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox