When most people think about Filipino boxing two names usually come to mind: Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire. But there is another Filipino boxer out there who has been really making some noise lately and is quickly gaining notoriety named Brian “Hawaiian Punch” Viloria.
Vilora has been on a hot streak as of late, scoring victories over some very good fighters such as Julio Cesar Miranda, Giovani Segura, and Omar Nino Romero. Not many people expected him to beat the favored hard hitting Mexican, Segura, but he was able to pull off the upset scoring a stunning eighth round stoppage. His most recent victory was a very sweet one considering the fact that in two fights that took place earlier in his career he lost and fought to a draw that was later changed to a no contest with Romero, who failed the post fight drug test.
Viloria was finally able to close the book on the chapter with Romero by scoring a thrilling ninth round stoppage. “It was a great feeling. I think it did more psychologically than it did anything else. It put me in the right frame of mind going into my next fight. I think the draw that did happen with him, I thought I won that fight also, but the judges saw it otherwise and it was almost like a chip on my shoulder and I really needed to clear that up and mostly proving to myself that I’m still an elite fighter that I thought I was and just to have that cleared up it felt great. The next morning felt a little brighter and it just felt good to me.”
On November 17 Viloria has another big challenge coming up, as he attempts to unify his WBO Flyweight Title by going up against another tough Mexican, WBA Super World Flyweight Champion, Hernan “Tyson” Marquez. “I know stylistically we’re going to put up a great fight and that’s all I can do. Hopefully it will be a great match and he’ll put up his best and I’ll put up my best and just let the fireworks happen. Hopefully everyone enjoys it. I’m training really hard for this fight,” Vilora said.
Marquez has been on a hot streak himself lately winning seven fights in a row since losing to Viloria’s fellow Filipino counterpart, WBO and IBF Super Bantamweight Champion, Nonito Donaire. Ironically enough Donaire’s trainer, the highly regarded Robert Garcia is currently working with Marquez now. When asked if he feels if it will make a difference or have any impact on Marquez’ style come fight night Villoria replied, “We just look at tendencies from fight to fight. There is always going to be changes. I don’t want to put myself in a position to expect a certain style from that fight because of what he did in the last fight. When I look at tapes I just look at tendencies and see what he does and what he likes to do and where he likes to unload his shots and just to work with that. Most of the preparation comes down to me and getting myself in shape.”
Throughout the years it has been very common for fighters in the lower weight divisions to move up in weight and seek world titles in multiple divisions. Viloria’s fellow Filipino compatriots Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire are prime examples. The “Hawaiian Punch” doesn’t seem to be in a rush to follow in their footsteps just yet claiming, “I’m comfortable at 112. I started my career off at 112 and I went down to 108 to fight for the world tile in the WBC. If you think about it I was 108/106 pounds since I was in the Olympics in 2000, so I didn’t really let my body grow out much. We’ll see if I need to go up to 115 or 118 and see where I’m comfortable at but right now I’m comfortable at 112, and I’m looking forward to unifying the titles at this weight division and see where the competition leads me. If it asks me to move up to 115 or 118 then I’ll do it, but there is no sense of urgency to do it.”
Brian Viloria is expecting fireworks in his fight with Hernan Marquez on November 17 and it seems pretty hard to disagree with him. This one looks like it may be a barn burner. Fight fans stay tuned.