Nordine Oubaali's first WBC bantamweight title defense had been previously announced for July 6 in Kazakhstan, but now his opponent is revealed.
As part of an MTK Global card taking place at at the Barys Arena in Nur-Sultan, Oubaali will defend his title against Arthur Villanueva. This will be Oubaali's first title defense and the fight, as well as the rest of the card, will be streamed on ESPN+ in the United States.
Oubaali won the world title back in January when he defeated Rau'shee Warren by unanimous decision on the Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner pay-per-view card in Las Vegas. Prior to that, the unbeaten Oubaali had only fought just once in 2018 which was a second-round knockout win over former world title challenger Luis Melendez.
Villanueva will look to become a bantamweight world champion for the first time in his career after an unsuccessful run at a super flyweight world title back in 2015. Villanueva is coming into the fight with a 2-2-1 record in his last five fights and is coming off a 10-round majority draw against Carlo Demecillo last November. The 30-year-old Villanueva is currently ranked No. 15 by the WBC and No. 4 by the WBO at bantamweight.
The card will also feature a number of fighters from Kazakhstan, including unbeaten prospects Sultan Zaurbek, Viktor Kotochigov, Ali Baloyev, Abilkhaiyr Shegaliyev, Nurtas Azhbenov and Abay Tolesh, who will all be fighting on the card in separate bouts. David Oliver Joyce will also defend his WBO European featherweight title at the event as well.