BACOLOD CITY – The City of Bago in Negros Occidental honored the country’s latest boxing champion Arthur Villanueva with a hero’s welcome and a cash incentive on Thursday.
Villanueva, who won the World Boxing Association (WBA) Asia South bantamweight title on June 11 in Pakistan, hails from Barangay Don Jorge L. Araneta.
“We recognize Arthur’s feat of bringing pride and glory to the city,” said Mayor Nicholas Yulo, who awarded the fighter PHP50,000 incentive in rites held at the Mayor’s Office after a motorcade around the city.
Yulo also gave the 33-year-old Villanueva a copy of the City Council Resolution 22-147, congratulating him for the honor and recognition he has brought to Bago, in the presence of the boxer’s wife Jinny Mae.
“By winning this fight, Arthur Villanueva has made our city proud and has shown to the world the spirit of Bagonhon competitiveness and excellence," the resolution read.
Also known as the “King”, Villanueva trained in Baguio City before traveling to Pakistan for the WBA Asia triple header held at the Lalak Jan Stadium Jutial in Gilgit City.
He clinched the title after stopping Thailand’s Jakpan Sangtong in the ninth round.
“I am elated with the warmth and enthusiasm I received from my fellow Bagonhons. It only gives me more reason to do my best knowing you are all behind my back. I really appreciate all the effort and time you gave and exerted to celebrate my victory,” Villanueva said in a Facebook post.
Villanueva was also a former Asia-Pacific bantamweight champion of the World Boxing Organization and international super flyweight titlist of the World Boxing Council.
He is among the boxing champions who have brought honors to Bago City recently, after 31st Southeast Asian Games boxing medalists Rogen Ladon and James Palicte.
Ladon, a 2016 Rio Olympics campaigner, took the gold in the flyweight division while Palicte pocketed bronze in the lightweight class.
Other notable Filipino boxers from Bago City include Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco, a silver medalist in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and brother Roel Velasco, a bronze medal winner in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. (PNA)