RARELY does heavy-handed Lorenzo Villanueva go the distance in his fights, with all but one of his 22 career victories coming via the short route.

As the 26-year-old Filipino knockout artist braces for his toughest fight next month, he hasn’t left a stone unturned and is prepared to go the whole 12 rounds.

“He is in Baguio City right now. He is already sparring for 12 rounds and building up a lot of stamina. He knows that Daud (Cino) Yordan has never been stopped and that the fight could last 12 rounds,” Villanueva’s manager Manny Piñol told Sun.Star Cebu.

Ambition

Villanueva is gunning for the vacant International Boxing Organization (IBO) featherweight strap against former world title contender Daud Cino Yordan on May 5 at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

Villanueva, a native of Midsayap, North Cotabato, has set up his training camp for the biggest break of his career in Baguio City. He has been sparring with four different fighters from Mindanao—Ronnie Apilado (16-1, 10 KOs), Rey Juntilla (16-1, 9 KOs), Rolando Magbanua (19-2, 14 KOs) and tall light welterweight Rugen Mamayog.

Yordan, 28-2 with 22 knockouts, should serve as a true measuring stick if Villanueva is the real deal, because the Indonesian is experienced and has fought for a world title. He also has a granite chin and has lost to world-class opposition in current world champions Chris John and Celestino Caballero, both by decision.

Fanbase

Villanueva, 22-0 with 21 knockouts, has become a local fan favorite because of his aggressive style, coupled with his immense power.

Although it seems Yordan has the advantage because of Villanueva’s relative inexperience, Piñol believes that his ward’s knockout power would spell the difference.

“Villanueva will really have to use his power against an outstanding boxer. Yordan is a former Olympian and skills-wise, Villanueva is way behind. But I know Villanueva could hurt Yordan and could affect his fighting style,” says Piñol.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 18, 2012.