'LORENZO VILLANUEVA IS EDWIN VALERO REBORN,' SAYS VENEZUELAN CHAMP'S MANAGER AND TRAINER
Sun, 10 Apr 2011
Bacolod City - As Filipino power puncher Lorenzo "Thunderbolt" Villanueva mauled his Indonesian opponent to submission in the 5th round Saturday night and become his 19th knockout victim in 20 victorious fights, half the world away in Los Angeles, California a boxing manager and trainer watched his fights on youtube.com and said the Filipino Oriental featherweight champion evoked memories of controversial Venezuelan knockout artist Edwin Valero.
Mexican-Americans Jose Castillo and Robert Alcazar knew exactly what they were talking about. Castillo was Valero's manager until his mysterious suicide April 19 last year while Alcazar trained the young Valero when he came in as a raw fighter from Venezuela.
"Villanueva fights just like Valero when Robert (Alcazar) first handled him," Castillo told Fipino cutman and physical therapist Jeff de Guzman after watching Villanueva's fights on youtube.com.
Alcazar told De Guzman that Villanueva's power and heart make him a potential world champion just like Valero who reportedly committed sjuicide in his jail cell after he confessed to killing his wife. At the time of his death, Valero was the world lightweight champion with a record of 27 wins and 27 knockouts.
While admitting that many aspects of Villanueva's fighting style still have to be improved and corrected, Alcazar said he is very interested in training the Filipino power puncher who has remained undefeated in 21 professional boxing bouts with 20 wins, 19 KOs and 1 No Contest.
The No Contest bout was his first fight against Eric Macas who suffered a big cut below his left eye in the 5th round of their fight in May 2009. The referee ruled it a headbutt and declared Macas winner by Technical Decision.
The Games and Amusements Board (GAB), however, reversed this decision after a review of the video tape of the fight which showed that the cut was caused by legitimate blows and declared the bout a No Contest.
In their return bout one year later, Villanueva knocked out Macas in the 2nd round.
Alcazar said that with a record of 18 wins and 18 knock outs, Valero still threw punches from wrong angles and was wide and wild with his arms.
"Bring him to me and I will make him a world champion," Alcazar told De Guzman.
Awkward and gangling, Villanueva scored his 19th knockout victory in the La Salle University Gymnasium Saturday night when he floored Indonesian challenger James Mokoginta in the fist and second rounds before finally putting him down for the final time in the 5th round.
Mokoginta reportedly complained of possible broken ribs because of the powerful body punches thrown by Villanueva. Before his fight against the Filipino champion, Mokoginta scored two knockout victories in Thailand.
"You can teach boxing skills but you cannot teach power and courage," Alcazar said.
Villanueva, an orphan who hails from the frontier town of Midsayap, North Cotabato and fights under the Braveheart Boxing Club owned by former North Cotabato Governor Manny Pinol and his brothers, is now being promoted by ALA Boxing Promotions of Cebu.
ALA Boxing Promotions President Michael Aldeguer, son of long-time boxing patron Tony Aldeguer, said he has big plans for the power-puncher from North Cotabato who is one of the four boxers signed up by his outfit in a multi-year promotional contract.
After a short rest in North Cotabato, Villanueva will fly back to Cebu and join the other boxers in the ALA Boxing Gym training under the supervision of physical conditioning coach Pio Solon.
"He has to be fine tuned and refined so that he will attain his full potentials as a boxer," said retired police colonel Pat Pinol, eldest of the 11 Pinol brothers.
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