If things had gone his way, Arthur Villanueva could have been a world champion by now. But things did not go his way and he is still searching for that elusive gold.
Saturday night will be King Arthur’s comeback following a title eliminator bout against Zolani Tete in England last April. It had then been elevated to an interim title fight after Marlon Tapales lost his belt at the scales.
As Villanueva looked back on the missed opportunity, he could help feeling bad about the loss. Still, he uses this as the main reason not to give up on his dreams.
“Ngayon nafeel ko na maganda yung kundisyon ko ngayon, tsaka nakarecover na ako sa last ko na fight,” Villanueva told Tiebreaker Times during the Pinoy Pride 42 weigh-ins.
“Nung una, medyo normal talaga yun na na-depress ako pero ngayon totally naka-recover na ako.
“Siyempre nandiyan sina Sir Antonio Aldeguer na nag-encourage sakin. Sina Sir Mike (Aldeguer), in-encourage nila ako. Sa isip ko, kung hindi sila mag-give up sakin, so hindi dapat ako mag-give up sa pangarap ko na mag world champion,” the 28-year-old avowed.
Villanueva will start his comeback against fellow Filipino Richie Mepranum (36-6-1, 8KO). He believes that this will be a good test for him as his opponent is a battle-hardened veteran who has faced some of the world’s top pugilists — including two former world champions.
“Si Mepranum, hindi din puwedeng pag-kumpyansahan tapos isa pang (factor) is left handed siya. Yung dalawa kong talo, sa puro left handed kaya hindi ito madaling laban para sakin kaya pinagsikapan ko,” he said.
“Yung huli kong laban is kaliwete kaya yung mga training namin, pinatuloy ko kasi tingin ko mas magagamit ko yung mga na-practice namin kay Zolani Tete dito kay Mepranum.”
The native of Negros Occidental is determined to get another crack at a world title.
And fighting in front of the people who believe in him, he is out to show everyone that he will persevere just like his stablemate, IBF World Light Flyweight champion Milan Melindo.
“Hopefully maganda yung recovery ko (from weight cut) para maipakita ko talaga yung lakas ko,” Villanueva added.
“Tsaka kung nakaya ni Milan, talagang kaya ko din.”