“King” Arthur Villanueva had a rough outing in Mexico, suffering a controversial sixth round loss at the hands of WBC World Bantamweight champion Luis Nery in a non-title bout, Sunday afternoon.
Fighting in front of a huge Mexican crowd, Villanueva fought as if it was a championship bout. The 28-year-old was the initiator from the get-go which prevented the WBC champion to get his usual power shots.
Villanueva also had early success in defending Nery’s pressuring offense near the ropes and landing stiff punches of his own, earning the champion’s and the Mexican crowds’ respect.
King Arthur’s best round came in the fourth round where he sent Nery to his knees courtesy of a stiff right hook in one of their exchanges, Closing the gap in the scorecards.
The Bacolod-native continued to exchange leather with the champion in the following round and had his success pressing Nery into the ropes.
However, Nery was able to recover in time and turned the tide later in that round and unleashed an onslaught of his own in the sixth. The ALA Boxing standout tried to weather the Mexican’s barrage but it proved to be too much for him. Absorbing his first career stoppage loss at the 1:19 mark of the sixth round.
In spite of his predicament, Villanueva was in high spirits, showing gratitude after slugging out against the Mexican titleholder.
“First of all, thank you Lord for the safety and the opportunity. And Congrats [sic] to Luis Nery because you are the better man tonight,” he said in a Facebook post.
Villanueva returns to the drawing board with the loss after absorbing a fourth round TKO win last September in Cebu City. His record now stands at 31-3.