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His canceled fight with Australian pug Billy Dib (31-1, 19 KOs) would have been a great highlight for his budding career if he proved victorious, but last Saturday, unbeaten WBO Oriental prizefighter Lorenzo “Thunderbolt” Villanueva (20-0, 19 KOs) proved that good things do happen for those who wait. Villanueva trashed Indonesia’s James Mokoginta inside five rounds to successfully defend his title for the fourth time since capturing it in 2009.

Villanueva and Dib were supposed to face off earlier this year but issues between promoters on the venue as well as the choice of boxing officials prevented both camps from striking a deal. If the fight pushed through, Dib would have been the most difficult opponent for the Midsayap, Cotabato native.

That said, Villanueva had the same chance of beating Dib as Dib would have. The only problem was (and still is) that Villanueva is a crude power puncher who cares less for technique. The current IBF Pan-Pacific featherweight champ Dib, whose most notable fight is a losing effort to former world titleholder Steven Luevano, would have had the upper hand in terms of technique and style.

It would have been 65-55 in favor of Dib if they fought back then. Lorenzo punches in looping motions and his defense is suspect. Easy prey for counters and stylistic boxers.

But so was the late world champion Edwin Valero. A very refined Valero would have been a scary prospect for just about anyone on or near his weight class. And with the comparison between the two breaking the surface, one can only wonder what a power puncher like Villanueva would be like if he is fused with prizefighting finesse and other refinements of the sweet science. One can only imagine the havoc the man known as The Thunderbolt can conjure up inside the ring.

After a gritty yet entertaining showing last Saturday as part of the Pinoy Pride 5 series, Mexican-Americans Jose Castillo and Robert Alcazar believe that Villanueva showed the same promise as did Valero. Castillo handled Valero’s career until the latter’s suicide in 2010. Alcazar was Valero’s trainer.

”Bring him to me and I will make him a world champion,” Alcazar declared after watching Villanueva’s fight on YouTube.

Collision course?

Looking from the top of the fence, it seems Villanueva and Dib are on a collision course for a featherweight title showdown provided they fare well in their future matches. Dib is scheduled to duke it out with undefeated and highly heralded American Miguel Angel Garcia (25-0, 21 KOs) for the IBF featherweight championship.

While Villanueva’s future is not yet mapped out, a fight with the winner would be an exciting prospect for the young Filipino.

Photo credits: thepinoyboxers.com

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Kenneth P. Ragpala is an award-winning sports blogger who has been covering the sport of boxing since 2008. His works have appeared in local newspapers in his home city in Cagayan de Oro and in several online publications abroad. Ragpala has written for several boxing websites, namely Fight Hype, 8 Count News, and Bleacher Report.