Pre­ma­ture stop­page mars Vil­lanueva loss

Sun.Star Cebu - - PRIME SPORTS - JINGO QUI­JANO jin­go_qui­jano@ya­hoo.com

About a week ago, Pinoy fighter Arthur Vil­lanueva put up a gal­lant stand against Luis Nery, but fell short and the fight was stopped in the 6th round.

I’ll give all the props to “Pan­tera” Nery as he got up from a knock­down scored by “King Arthur” in the fourth, gath­ered him­self and mounted a re­lent­less as­sault that had the ALA pug on the de­fen­sive, but what marred the end­ing was, to me, a pre­ma­ture stop­page.

THE FIGHT. In the very first round, fu­ri­ous ex­changes were made and Nery got the bet­ter of Vil­lanueva es­pe­cially in the last few sec­onds of the first.

Nery con­tin­ued be­ing the ag­gres­sor in the sec­ond, but Vil­lanueva also landed some coun­ters and was box­ing on even terms at the end of the round.

In the third, Nery started tar­get­ing Vil­lanueva’s body suc­cess­fully and the lat­ter started to slow down.

In the fourth with about 30 sec­onds to go, Nery seemed on the verge of knock­ing down Vil­lanueva with fu­ri­ous com­bi­na­tions while the lat­ter gamely fought back. One of those right hand coun­ters landed smack on Nery’s chin and he went on his knee for a flash knock­down.

In the fifth, Nery showed that he wasn’t hurt at all and was the ag­gres­sor all through­out. Vil­lanueva was back­ing up but coun­ter­ing well.

At the 1:30 mark of the sixth round, Nery caught Vil­lanueva with a beau­ti­ful com­bi­na­tion but the lat­ter cov­ered up while his back was against the ropes. While Vil­lanueva ap­peared tem­po­rar­ily help­less, he didn’t ap­pear hurt at all and was in fact cov­er­ing up when the ref­eree stepped in to call for the de­noue­ment of the fight.

PRE­MA­TURE. Of course, we all know that the pri­mary job of the ref­eree is to pro­tect the health of the fight­ers , but ev­ery fight is a dif­fer­ent fight, and it’s all about con­text.

For this fight, while Vil­lanueva was fad­ing, he didn’t ap­pear hurt or in se­ri­ous trou­ble at all and was in­tel­li­gently de­fend­ing him­self when the fight was stopped.

Plus, you should consider that Vil­lanueva scored a knock­down two rounds prior while he was be­ing pum­meled by Nery which should ac­count for some­thing when the ref­eree makes his judge­ment call.

At the end of the day, we are glad that Arthur is in good health and he can po­ten­tially still bounce back from this loss, but to me he should have been given the ben­e­fit of the doubt in that fight.

It’s on YouTube guys, you be the judge.

PROG­NO­SIS. Nery is the reign­ing WBC ban­tamweight cham­pion af­ter he de­feated Shin­suke Ya­manaka. How­ever, af­ter that fight, Nery was ini­tially found pos­i­tive for a banned sub­stance but sub­se­quent tests yielded neg­a­tive re­sults.

The fight with Vil­lanueva was a non-ti­tle fight. With that win Nery climbs to 25-0, with 19 KOs . Vil­lanueva suf­fered the third loss of his ca­reer, and drops to 31-3, 17 KOs.

To me, Nery is still an enigma and the jury is still out on him. There will al­ways be cloud of sus­pi­cion hang­ing over him as a re­sult of that Ya­manaka fight. He has a very crowd-friendly style and doesn’t mind get­ting into ex­changes. But he ap­pears to be chinny as can be seen in the Vil­lanueva fight and it re­mains to be seen how he fares against the top-tier fight­ers in his di­vi­sion.

Vil­lanueva on the other hand needs to make some cru­cial de­ci­sions about his ca­reer. At 28 he is young enough to re­group and make a ti­tle run, but he has lost to some of the best fight­ers in the ban­tamweight di­vi­sion (Zolani Tete and Nery) so maybe a move back down to ju­nior ban­tamweight should be con­sid­ered.

LAST ROUNDS. Are on my sis­ter in-law Atty Renelda Chanco, my kum­pare Roger Lee and my ku­mare, Trina Zosa-Tan who re­cently cel­e­brated their birthdays. Cheers!

To me, Nery is still an enigma and the jury is still out on him. There will al­ways be cloud of sus­pi­cion hang­ing over him as a re­sult of that Ya­manaka fight.

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