McWilliams Arroyo

McWilliams Arroyo Acevedo (born December 5, 1985) is a Puerto Rican professional boxer who has held the WBC interim flyweight title since February 2021.[1] He previously challenged for the IBF flyweight title in 2014, and the WBC and Ring magazine flyweight titles in 2016. As an amateur, Arroyo represented Puerto Rico in numerous international events. As of June 2021, Arroyo is ranked as the world's sixth best flyweight by BoxRec[2] and tenth best by The Ring.[3]

McWilliams Arroyo
Real nameMcWilliams Arroyo Acevedo
Height5 ft 4 in (163 cm)
Reach64 in (163 cm)
NationalityPuerto Rican
Born (1985-12-05) December 5, 1985 (age 36)
Ceiba, Puerto Rico
Boxing record
Total fights26
Wins by KO16
No contests1

Early lifeEdit

McWilliams was born along his twin brother, McJoe, in the municipality of Ceiba in the northeast coastal region of Puerto Rico's main island. Their parents are Milagros Acevedo Hernández and José A. Arroyo Gelabert.[4] Arroyo and his twin, were introduced to boxing in their childhood. At the age of 12, they entered Gimnasio Fito Ramos, a gymnasium located in the municipality of Fajardo, Puerto Rico.[5] In this locale they met Anthony Otero, a retired amateur boxer, who became their trainer during this stage of their careers.[6] They initially took up the sport as a hobby, but after six fights they began establishing a pattern of only spending a limited amount of time inactive during a month, visiting the gymnasium at least every two weeks.[7] Since the early stages of their careers, the brothers decided to fight in different divisions, in order to avoid fighting against each other.[7] However, they participated in sparring sessions, performing as they would do against other sparring partners.[6]

Amateur careerEdit

Arroyo began competing in the 70 pounds division, while his brother did so in the 75 pounds.[4] He participated in the first Pan-American Cadet Championships, representing Puerto Rico in the event held in Mexico. In this competition, Arroyo won his first medal in an international tournament, earning the silver medal.[4] Subsequently, he performed in the International Junior Olympics held in Michigan, where he won his division's gold medal.[4] Arroyo entered the V José "Cheo" Aponte Tournament held from June 1–7, 2003. He advanced to the finals, losing a close decision to Joseph Serrano (13:14) to win the silver medal.[8] Arroyo also represented Puerto Rico in the Copa La Romana, organized in La Romana Province, Dominican Republic, earning the event's silver medal.[4] In 2003, he was named Puerto Rico's Youth Boxer of the Year. Arroyo entered the 2005 Torneo Batalla Carabobo where he won the event's silver medal.[4] The VII José "Cheo" Aponte Tournament was held between June 2–7, 2005. In the semifinals, Arroyo defeated José Meza of Ecuador, 17:13.[9] He won the gold medal, defeating Steven Ortíz by points (25:16) in the finals.[9] Arroyo competed in the 2005 Pan American Championships, earning his division's silver medal.[4]

Central American and Pan American titlesEdit

Both of the twins classified to the 2006 Central American and Caribbean Games. Arroyo debuted in the light flyweight semifinals, defeating Yan Bartelemí of Cuba, 14:11.[10] After advancing to the finals, he earned the tournament's gold medal, winning his contest against Odilion Zaleta of Mexico by points (14:8).[10] His brother won the bronze medal at the 112 lbs division. For this performance, Arroyo won Puerto Rico's Boxer of the Year recognition.[4] The IX José "Cheo" Aponte Tournament was held between May–5, 2007. In the quarter finals, Arroyo defeated Juan Carlos Payano of the Dominican Republic, 20:12.[11] He won his semifinals against Alex Ferramosca of Italy (26:6). In the finals, Arroyo defeated Juan Vega of Ecuador by points, 30:14.[11] Prior to the 2007 Pan American Games, both of the brothers moved up one division in order to avoid being matched against each other in local tournaments. Arroyo, now fighting at the flyweight division, debuted in the tournament's first date, defeating Lucas Navarro of Argentina by AB in the second round.[12] He won his bracket's quarterfinal against William Urina of Colombia, 16:7. In the semifinals, Arroyo defeated Yoandri Salinas by RSCH in the second round.[12] He gained the tournament's gold medal, winning by 12:11 against Juan Carlos Payano.[12] Both of the brothers participated in the 2007 World Amateur Boxing Championships. Aroyo debuted in the tournament’s third date, defeating Luvsantseren Zorigtbaatar of Mongolia by points, 26:10.[13] He won his second preliminary contest against Vitali Volkov of Ukraine (23:14).[13] Arroyo closed his participation in this round by defeating Bato-Munko Vankeev of Belarus, 23:17. In the quarter finals, he lost to Samir Mammadov (33:21).[13] McJoe Arroyo advanced, winning the tournament's bantamweight bronze medal.

Surgery and OlympicsEdit

The Arroyo twins, McWilliams and McJoe, qualified to the 2008 Summer Olympics due to their performance at the AIBA World Championships. It was the second time that twins competed in an Olympic boxing tournament, the first pair being Valeriy and Wladimir Sidorenko, who participated together in the 2000 Summer Olympics. On July 2, 2008, Arroyo was selected to carry Puerto Rico's flag in the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.[14] On July 8, 2008, Puerto Rico's Sports and Recreation Department offered up to $48,000 to the five boxers classified to the Olympics, if the boxers choose to continue with the team for a second Olympic cycle.[15] In respect, Arroyo expressed that he would make his decision after comparing the offers provided by the government and professional promoters.[16] The twins, José Pedraza and Jonathan González began their preparations in a massive sports complex located in Salinas, Puerto Rico, named Albergue Olímpico. During the training, Arroyo suffered an injury in one of his legs.[17] Consequently, his right foot underwent surgery and two screws were fasted to his bone, interrupting his training regime.[17] As part of their training the boxing team moved to South Korea, in order to get used to the time changes.[18] Arroyo joined them and officially received the flag of Puerto Rico that was going to be used in the Olympic games on July 9, 2008.[19] After training and participating in a series of exhibition matches, the team traveled from South Korea to Beijing.[20] Despite the surgery, Arroyo decided to compete in the Summer Olympics along his brother. He received a bye in the first round of the preliminaries.[21] Arroyo debuted in the final stage of the preliminaries, defeating Norbert Kalucza of Hungary, 14:6. In the quarterfinals, he lost to Andry Laffita (11:2).[21] Arroyo subsequently continued the rehabilitation process and the following month, his first son was born, receiving his namesake, McWilliams Arroyo Junior.[17]

Final stages and World ChampionshipEdit

His next competition was the Torneo Nacional de Boxeo Aficionado Isaac Barrientos, Puerto Rico's national championship tournament. In the finals, he was matched against AIBA Youth World Champion, Jonathan González. Early in the contest, González was able to use his speed and counterattack to establish control of the fight's tempo, winning the first round 3:0.[22] This pattern continued in the next stanza, where he was able to score six more points, including three in only eighteen seconds, before his opponent scored his first point.[22] Arroyo attempted to pressure the fight on the third, reducing the difference to 9:4, before González had one final advance, securing the final score of 11:5.[22] Arroyo returned to action at the XII José "Cheo" Aponte Tournament, which began on May 19, 2009. Prior to the competition, the local media emphasized the rematch between him and Arroyo, labeling them as "nemesis".[23] After advancing to the finals, he was matched against González, who won the second bracket.[24] On this fight, Arroyo was able to win by points, gathering rounds of 6:3, 12:6 and 17:9.[25] The fight was described as "frenetic" and saw a change in strategy by González, who attempted to pressure the offensive.

Immediately afterwards, both pugilists competed in a third contest as part of the first Juan Evangelista Venegas Olympic Cup.[26] This event was organized by the Olympic Committee of Puerto Rico (COPUR), serving as the final qualifier to determine who would enter Puerto Rico’s national team in preparation for the 2009 World Amateur Boxing Championships. The first two rounds concluded with a close score of 5:4, which favored Arroyo.[26] In the third round, González connected a right hook and scored a knockdown. Arroyo stood up while still affected by the punch and was forced to receive a protective count following another offensive barrage.[26] With the score favoring him by two points 7:5, González scored three more times, while Arroyo was only able to do so once, securing a final score of 10:6.[26] Subsequently, the Federación de Boxeo Aficionado de Puerto Rico (lit. "Amateur Boxing Federation of Puerto Rico") selected Arroyo to participate in the World Amateur Boxing Championships over González.[27] Both of the brothers participated in this international event. Arroyo debuted in the tournament's third date, defeating Yoon Kyoung Min of Korea by RSCH in the second round.[28] To close the preliminaries, he won his contest against Norbert Kalucza of Hungary by RSC in the third round. In the quarterfinals, Arroyo defeated Yampier Hernández by points, 6:2.[28] He advanced to the finals by winning his fight against Ronny Beblik of Germany (9:7). Arroyo won the tournament's flyweight gold medal, defeating Tugstsogt Nyambayar of Mongolia with a score of 18:2, the widest margin in all of the finals.[29]

Professional careerEdit

On December 8, 2009, the Arroyo brothers issued a press release through their mother, Milagros Acevedo, informing that they were no longer interested in continuing their amateur careers.[30] In the letter, they report differences with the criteria used to provide economical support to high-performance athletes, as well as schedule conflicts with their original plans to pursue a professional career after the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games.[30] These concerns were restated in a subsequent press conference, where they noted that supporting their respective families was the main reason to pursue a professional career.[30] On January 12, 2010, PR Best Boxing announced the official signing of both brothers.[31] Arroyo's debut was scheduled for February 27, 2010, taking part of a card titled "Haciendo Historia", where Wilfredo Vázquez, Jr. fought Marvin Sonsona for the super bantamweight world championship. His opponent, Eliecer Sánchez, also debuted as a professional in this card.[32] The fight concluded after 1:46 of the first round had passed, when Arroyo connected a single punch that left Sánchez unconscious for several minutes, requiring paramedical help and an oxygen mask, this result earned him a victory by knockout.[33] In his second fight, he was matched against the latest Dominican Republic Minimumweight Champion, Francisco Rosario. Arroyo won by technical knockout in the third round, when Rosario surrendered following an exchange of solid combinations.[34] His next opponent was Samuel Gutiérrez, who was forced on the defensive from the opening round, receiving several combinations and suffering a broken nose. In the second, Arroyo continued on the offensive, scoring a knockdown which prompted the referee to stop the fight.[35] In his next fight, he suffered an upset loss to Takashi Okada (1-0-1) who knocked Arroyo down in the second round en route to a unanimous decision victory.

Arroyo recovered with a six round unanimous decision win over Jiovany Fuentes. To open 2011, he scored a first round knockout over César Grajeda. Arroyo followed this with five round win over Erickson Martell. He closed the year with seven and two round technical knockouts against Rigoberto Casillas and Lorenzo Trejo. Arroyo won his next contest against Gilberto Mendoza, when the latter retired after suffering a shoulder injury. On March 10, 2012, he defeated Luis Maldonado to win the World Boxing Organization's Latino title. After repeating his previous performance in a rematch with Casillas, Arroyo defended the championship by knocking Ronald Ramos out in five rounds. On February 2, 2013, he won the World Boxing Council's Latino title with a four round win over Miguel Tamayo. However, Arroyo suffered an injury in his right hand and afterwards entered a prolonged inactivity.[36] His return took place in an International Boxing Federation title eliminator on June 19, 2014, where he defeated Froilan Saludar by knockout in two rounds.[37]

Arroyo vs. CuadrasEdit

On February 24, 2018, Arroyo faced Carlos Cuadras. Cuadras was ranked #2 by the WBC and #6 by the WBO at super flyweight. Arroyo outpointed Cuadras on the two of the scorecards, 98-92 and 97-93, while the third judge scored the fight a draw, 95-95, therefore awarding Arroyo with the majority decision victory.[38]

Arroyo vs. IokaEdit

In his next fight, Arroyo fought former world champion Kazuto Ioka, who was ranked #2 by the WBA at super flyweight.[39] Ioka boxed very well as his game plan seemed to work perfectly against Arroyo. Arroyo made it tough for Ioka at times, but Ioka was the clear winner of the fight, as all three judges scored the fight widely in his favor, 99-90 and 97-92 twice.[40]

Arroyo vs. RodriguezEdit

On February 27, 2021, Arroyo fought Abraham Rodriguez for the vacant WBC interim flyweight title. Initially Arroyo was supposed to face Julio Cesar Martinez, who pulled out of the fight just days before because of hand injuries. Arroyo dominated his new opponent en route to a fifth round TKO win.[41]

Professional boxing recordEdit

26 fights 21 wins 4 losses
By knockout 16 0
By decision 5 4
No contests 1
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
26 NC 21–4
Julio Cesar Martinez NC 3 (12), 0:01 Nov 19, 2021 SNHU Arena, Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S. For WBC flyweight title;
Arroyo unable to continue after accidental head clash
25 Win 21–4 Abraham Rodriguez TKO 5 (12), 1:41 Feb 27, 2021 Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida, U.S. Won vacant WBC interim flyweight title
24 Win 20–4 Juan Gabriel Medina RTD 5 (10), 3:00 Dec 7, 2019 Coliseo Pedrin Zorrilla, San Juan, Puerto Rico
23 Win 19–4 Carlos Buitrago UD 10 Jun 15, 2019 Coliseo Roger L. Mendoza, Caguas, Puerto Rico Retained WBO Latino flyweight title
22 Win 18–4 Carlos Maldonado UD 10 Feb 16, 2019 Complejo Ferial, Ponce, Puerto Rico Won vacant WBO Latino flyweight title
21 Loss 17–4 Kazuto Ioka UD 10 Sep 8, 2018 The Forum, Inglewood, California, U.S. Lost WBC Silver super flyweight title
20 Win 17–3 Carlos Cuadras MD 10 Feb 24, 2018 The Forum, Inglewood, California, U.S. Won vacant WBC Silver super flyweight title
19 Loss 16–3 Román González UD 12 Apr 23, 2016 The Forum, Inglewood, California, U.S. For WBC and The Ring flyweight titles
18 Win 16–2 Victor Ruiz TKO 3 (10), 1:32 Apr 11, 2015 Coliseo Jose Miguel Agrelot, San Juan, Puerto Rico
17 Loss 15–2 Amnat Ruenroeng SD 12 Sep 10, 2014 Liptapanlop Hall, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand For IBF flyweight title
16 Win 15–1 Froilan Saludar TKO 2 (12), 2:25 Jun 19, 2014 Coliseo Rubén Rodríguez, Bayamón, Puerto Rico
15 Win 14–1 Jose Miguel Tamayo TKO 4 (10), 0:45 Feb 2, 2013 Coliseo Rubén Rodríguez, Bayamón, Puerto Rico Won WBC interim Latino flyweight title
14 Win 13–1 Ronald Ramos TKO 5 (12), 2:28 Sep 27, 2012 Hotel San Juan, Isla Verde, Puerto Rico
13 Win 12–1 Rigoberto Casillas TKO 7 (10), 2:00 Jun 9, 2012 Palacio de los Deportes, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico
12 Win 11–1 Luis Maldonado UD 10 Mar 10, 2012 Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico
11 Win 10–1 Gilberto Mendoza RTD 3 (6), 3:00 Feb 3, 2012 Coliseo Luis Aymat, San Sebastián, Puerto Rico
10 Win 9–1 Lorenzo Trejo TKO 2 (8), 1:11 Jul 1, 2011 Coliseo Tomas Dones, Fajardo, Puerto Rico
9 Win 8–1 Rigoberto Casillas TKO 7 (8), 1:52 May 6, 2011 Coliseo Pedrin Zorrilla, San Juan, Puerto Rico
8 Win 7–1 Erickson Martell TKO 5 (8), 1:53 Apr 1, 2011 Coliseo Rubén Rodríguez, Bayamón, Puerto Rico
7 Win 6–1 Manuel Galaviz TKO 1 (6), 2:59 Feb 5, 2011 Coliseo Rubén Rodríguez, Bayamón, Puerto Rico
6 Win 5–1 Cesar Grajeda TKO 1 (6), 2:55 Nov 6, 2010 MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
5 Win 4–1 Jovany Fuentes UD 6 Aug 28, 2010 Coliseo Mario 'Quijote' Morales, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico
4 Loss 3–1 Takashi Okada UD 4 Jun 12, 2010 Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, U.S.
3 Win 3–0 Samuel Gutiérrez TKO 2 (4), 1:36 May 29, 2010 Coliseo Rubén Rodríguez, Bayamón, Puerto Rico
2 Win 2–0 Francisco Rosario KO 3 (4), 2:01 Apr 17, 2010 Coliseo Tomás Dones, Fajardo, Puerto Rico
1 Win 1–0 Eliecer Sánchez KO 1 (4), 1:46 Feb 27, 2010 Coliseo Rubén Rodríguez, Bayamón, Puerto Rico


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  2. ^ "BoxRec: Ratings". Retrieved 2021-06-24.
  3. ^ "Ratings". The Ring. Retrieved 2021-06-24.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Senado de Puerto Rico: R. del S. 654 (in Spanish). Senado de Puerto Rico. 2009-09-14. pp. 1–3.
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  7. ^ a b Omar Marrero (2008-07-07). "Hermanos Arroyo buscan gloria olímpica en Beijing" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2009-12-10.
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  9. ^ a b "7.Jose Cheo Aponte Tournament - Caguas - June 2–7, 2005". Retrieved 2010-02-07.
  10. ^ a b "Central American and Caribbean Games - Cartagena, Colombia - July 20–28, 2006". Retrieved 2010-01-21.
  11. ^ a b "9.Jose Cheo Aponte Tournament - Caguas, Puerto Rico - May 1–5, 2007". Retrieved 2010-02-07.
  12. ^ a b c "Panamerican Games - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - July 20–28, 2007". Retrieved 2010-01-21.
  13. ^ a b c "World Championships - Chicago, USA - October 23 - November 3, 2007". Retrieved 2010-01-20.
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  19. ^ Rey Colón (2008-07-09). Histórico abanderamiento en La Fortaleza (in Spanish). El Vocero.
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  21. ^ a b "Olympics Draw Sheet" (PDF). International Boxing Association. 2008-08-23. Retrieved 2010-01-22.
  22. ^ a b c "Jonathan González derrota al olímpico McWilliams Arroyo". Primera Hora (in Spanish). 2009-03-01. Archived from the original on March 3, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
  23. ^ Carlos González (2009-05-18). "En acción la crema del boxeo". Primera Hora (in Spanish). Retrieved 2009-05-18.
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  25. ^ Elliott Castro Tirado. "El dulce "problema" del boxeo aficionado" (in Spanish). Claridad. Archived from the original on 2009-05-29. Retrieved 2009-07-04.
  26. ^ a b c d Carlos González (2009-07-04). "Le coge la medida a McWilliams". Primera Hora. Retrieved 2009-07-04.
  27. ^ Wilfredo Acevedo Rios (2009-07-20). "¿Existe favoritismo en la Federación de Boxeo Aficionado de Puerto Rico?" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2009-11-05.
  28. ^ a b "World Championships - Milan, Italy - September 1–12, 2009". Retrieved 2010-01-22.
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  30. ^ a b c Rey Colón (2009-12-08). "Oficial: los Arroyo le dicen adiós al aficionismo". El Vocero (in Spanish). Archived from the original on December 13, 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-08.
  31. ^ Alex Figueroa Cancel (2010-01-12). "Los Arroyo firman como profesionales". Primera Hora (in Spanish). Retrieved 2010-01-20.
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  33. ^ Carlos González (2010-02-27). "McJoe y McWilliams Arroyo ganan con rápidos nocauts en su debut profesional". Primera Hora (in Spanish). Retrieved 2010-02-28.
  34. ^ "Carlos Negrón, McWilliams y McJoe Arroyo vencen a sus rivales". Primera Hora (in Spanish). 2010-04-18. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
  35. ^ Lester Jiménez (2010-05-29). "Salen airosos los hermanos Arroyo". Primera Hora (in Spanish). Retrieved 2010-05-30.
  36. ^ "Jonathan "Bomba" González entra por McWilliams Arroyo". 9 April 2013.
  37. ^ "Boxeo: McWilliams Arroyo es el primer clasificado de la FIB (galería) - NotiCel™". Archived from the original on 2016-01-22.
  38. ^ "Cuadras vs Arroyo - News, Tape, Ringwalk, TV, Streaming & Tickets". Box.Live. Retrieved 2021-06-24.
  39. ^ "Ioka vs Arroyo - News, Tape, Ringwalk, TV, Streaming & Tickets". Box.Live. Retrieved 2021-06-24.
  40. ^ "Kazuto Ioka outpoints McWilliams Arroyo in impressive U.S. and 115-pound debut". The Ring. 2018-09-08. Retrieved 2021-06-24.
  41. ^ Christ, Scott (2021-02-27). "Canelo vs Yildirim results and highlights: McWilliams Arroyo overpowers Abraham Rodriguez for fifth round stoppage". Bad Left Hook. Retrieved 2021-06-24.

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
World boxing titles
Title last held by
Pongsaklek Wonjongkam
WBC flyweight champion
Interim title

February 27, 2021 – present