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Villanueva-Tete eliminator moved to April 22, says ALA

Fighters Network

MANILA, Philippines – The WBO bantamweight title eliminator between Arthur Villanueva and Zolani Tete scheduled for this Saturday has been pushed back due to an unspecified reason, according to Villanueva’s promoter ALA Promotions.

A spokesperson for the Philippine-based company says the fight that was set to support the WBO lightweight title match between Terry Flanagan and Petr Petrov at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England will now take place on April 22, adding the venue will remain the same.

The fight has been updated on BoxRec.com with a detail that it’ll take place at the Leicester Arena in Leicester, England, however on a card also promoted by Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions, the promoter of this Saturday’s card, .

That card is set to be headlined by the middleweight bout between Tommy Langford and Avtandil Khurtsidze.

The ALA spokesperson says they weren’t given any “further explanation” for the postponement and had only been given the new date by Friday, local time.

A phone call and email to Frank Warren’s publicist were not returned by the time of this story’s publication.

Villanueva (30-1, 16 knockouts) and his team did not leave for the United Kingdom, having been informed two weeks ago of the change in plans.

“Schedules change all the time. As fighters, we have to adjust,” the 28-year-old from Bacolod City, Philippines was quoted in a statement from ALA. Villanueva’s trainer Edito Villamor says the advanced notice allowed them to adjust Villanueva’s sparring schedule so it wouldn’t affect his preparation.

Tete (24-3, 20 KOs) is a former IBF junior bantamweight titleholder.

The winner is expected to be the mandatory challenger to WBO bantamweight champion Marlon Tapales, the Filipino southpaw who will make his first title defense on April 23 in a rematch against Shohei Omori in Osaka, Japan. Tapales (29-2, 12 KOs) defeated Omori (18-1, 13 KOs) in two rounds the last time they fought in December 2015.

OPBF champ Yap faces Thai this Sunday

Mark John Yap, a Japan-based Filipino and current OPBF bantamweight champ, tells RingTV.com that he’ll face a Thai named Sitthichai Turedphon (ring name Ninmongkol Phetphumgym) this Sunday at Sumiyoshi Ward Center in Osaka, Japan in an eight-round non-title fight.

A bout sheet presented to RingTV shows the Thai fighter being 19 years old with a record of 8-3 (3 KOs), though no fighter under either of those names appears on BoxRec.com.

The 28-year-old Yap (25-12, 11 KOs), a winner of six straight, says he will fight former Japanese bantamweight champ Kentaro Masuda (26-7, 14 KOs) in July. Yap is currently rated No. 10 by the IBF and No. 11 by the WBC.

Ryan Songalia is the sports editor of Rappler, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and a contributor to THE RING Magazine. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @RyanSongalia.

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