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Lorenzo Villanueva: “I'm looking into fighting Juan Manuel Lopez.”

Photo © thepinoyboxers.com
Photo © thepinoyboxers.com

By Anson Wainwright


Fast-rising, Pinoy power-puncher Lorenzo “Thunderbolt” Villanueva boasts an impressive 91% KO ratio on a pristine 21-0 (20) (with one no-contest) record and returns to action on 28 January when he meets Mexican Diego Ledesma in a ten-round featherweight fight. The 26-year-old, who hails from the southwestern province of North Cotabato in the Philippines, intends to make a statement and introduce himself as the latest in a long line of standout Filipino fighters by making his mark on the world scene in 2012. He’ll have particular interest in the upcoming Orlando Salido-V-Juan Manuel Lopez rematch in March because he’s currently ranked number five by the WBO.
 
Anson Wainwright - In your most recent fight, you stopped Eddy Comaro in a round in July. What can you tell us about that fight and how happy you are with your own performance?
 
Lorenzo Villanueva - What I can say about that fight was I did not expect to finish him early in the fight as I knew coming in the fight that he was durable and a veteran fighter. I was really happy with my performance then because I felt that I was stronger and I kind of improved during our fight.

AW - What are your plans for 2012? When can we expect to see you fight next and who are you targeting?
 
LV - It really is up to my promoter, ALA Promotions, and manager, Manny Pinol, on who and when to fight next and I trust them to guide my career. I will be fighting in my promoter, ALA Promotions’ “Pinoy Pride XI” event in the Philippines boxing capital, Cebu, this January 28. I will be fighting in the supporting main event for “Philippines vs. The World” headlined by Milan “Metodico” Melindo.
 
One fighter I’m looking into fighting is “JuanMa” Lopez.
 
AW - It had been mentioned that you may fight on the Pacquiao-Marquez III card; that didn’t pan out though. Can you tell us what happened?
 
LV - I really did not know what happened there.
 
AW - You are obviously a big puncher at featherweight. Could you tell us a bit about your power as well as some of your other skills?
 
LV - I just always go for a knockout. I really like to throw a lot of combinations and I’m trying to improve on them more. 
 
AW - Where do you train?
 
LV - Bruce Lerio trains me now and I train at the ALA Gym.
 
AW - Many Filipino boxers fight in America now. Is this something you’d like to do? Also tell us what that opportunity would mean to you?
 
LV - I would like to fight in America to improve in life.
 
AW - What do you think of the featherweight division and current champions like the WBC’s Jhonny Gonzalez, the WBA’s Chris John and Celestino Caballero, the IBF’s Billy Dib and the WBO’s Orlando Salido? Also what about other top fighters like “JuanMa” Lopez and Yuriorkis Gamboa? How far do you think you are from being able to fight for a world title?
 
LV - All of them are great fighters but I am willing to fight any of them because that is my dream, to fight for a world title. 
 
AW - Who do you think wins the upcoming Salido-Lopez II fight?
 
LV - They have different styles of fighting. They are both great fighters and it’s a hard fight to call. I think the one who comes to the fight in better condition will win it.
 
AW - You were born, raised and still live in Midsayap, Cotabato. Could you tell us about your early years? Did you have the tough childhood many fighters do? If you could tell us about that? 
 
LV - It was a tough life and I just would want to forget it and move forward. It was a tough childhood for me as I was orphaned early. I always got into trouble and figured in street fights. Not anymore though. I have matured a lot and I just focus on my boxing now.
 
AW - How did you first become interested in boxing?
 
LV - I was raised by my manager, Manny Pinol, and he encouraged me into taking up boxing.
 
AW - Can you tell us your thoughts on both Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire?
 
LV - All I can say is that they are great fighters and have inspired boxers like me to work harder and dream.
 
AW - If you weren’t a boxer, what do you think you’d be doing? Do you have another job besides boxing?
 
LV - I really wouldn’t know. This is what I have been doing [all my life].
 
AW – Finally, do you have a message for the featherweight division?
 
LV - I respect the champions of the featherweight division and all I can say is that I would want a chance to fight any of you.
 
Questions and comments can be sent to Anson at elraincoat@live.co.uk


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