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Billy Dib's Promoter Scraps Fight Vs. Lorenzo Villanueva

PhilBoxing.com



Lorenzo Villanueva.

The Australian promoter of the World Boxing Organization (WBO) Oriental Featherweight championship between Filipino defending champion Lorenzo "Thunderbolt" Villanueva and former world title contender Billy Dib of Australia has scrapped the bout originally scheduled March 12 in Perth.


Villanueva, 25, (18 wins, 17 KOs) was already in heavy training when news of the cancellation of the fight was relayed by Australian sportscaster Peter Maniatis who helped arrange the fight.

Villanueva's manager, former North Cotabato governor Manny Pinol, informed ALA Boxing Promotions, the promoter of the Braveheart boxers of North Cotabato, that the sudden decision to scrap the fight followed a move by the promoter to transfer the venue of the fight from Perth, widely seen as a neutral territory, to Sydney where Dib figured in many controversial fights and considered as the homebase of the Australian challenger.

Pinol said he asked Maniatis to relay to the promoters that if the fight is transferred to Sydney, the promoter should get a neutral referee and one Filipino judge to work on the fight.

The promoter, according to Maniatis, rejected the idea saying that it would be too expensive on their part and decided to scrap the fight.

"I will not allow my boxer to fight Dib in a territory where many of his controversial bouts took place without a neutral referee and at least one neutral judge," Pinol said.

"I think they were alarmed when they realized that Villanueva, while obviously slower than Dib, has never been knocked down or cut in any of his fights and could actually hurt Dib," he said.

"That was when they tried to move the fight from Perth, which is considered as a neutral territory, to Sydney, Dib's homebase, on March 5. Villanueva could fight Dib in Sydney but we should level the playing field by assigning neutral officials," he said.

Pinol said he has relayed the information on the cancellation of the fight to ALA Boxing president Michael Aldeguer.

"Villanueva needs to defend his WBO Oriental title, or else he will be stripped for not making a defense within the prescribed period," he said.


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